The Punjab government has issued a directive making it compulsory for all students and staff in schools across the province to wear face masks. The decision was made after an extensive meeting of the Punjab cabinet, led by caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.
The government has decided against declaring an additional off day, believing it would not impact the situation. Instead, they have chosen to enforce the wearing of face masks in schools for a minimum period of 30 days. This measure is part of a broader strategy to combat the smog crisis, which includes the declaration of a smog emergency in the province, as ordered by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has also called on the general public to wear face masks for at least one month. Provincial ministers have been tasked with visiting both government and private schools to ensure that these directives are being implemented effectively.
In addition to these measures, the Punjab government is taking steps to mitigate the smog issue at its source. The commissioner of the Lahore division, the Local Government department, and the Lahore Waste Management Company have been instructed to enforce strict measures against those who fail to dampen materials during construction, a process that can help reduce dust and smog.
Furthermore, an agreement has been reached with a Chinese company to install an Air Quality Monitoring System in Lahore. This move is expected to provide valuable data to inform future decisions and strategies related to air quality management in the region.
The government’s decision to mandate face masks in schools is a clear indication of its commitment to safeguarding the health of students and staff amid the ongoing smog crisis. It is hoped that these measures will help to alleviate the situation and protect the people of Punjab from the harmful effects of poor air quality.