In response to the alarming levels of smog, the Punjab government has taken a decisive step to protect the health of its citizens, particularly school-going children and staff. As of November 2nd, 2023, it has become mandatory for all students and staff in schools across the province to wear face masks for a minimum period of 30 days. This decision was made after an extensive meeting of the Punjab cabinet, led by caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.
The government’s decision is not limited to educational institutions alone. The Chief Minister has also urged the general public to adopt the practice of wearing face masks for at least one month. To ensure the implementation of this directive, provincial ministers have been tasked with visiting both government and private schools starting from the day the decision was announced.
Punjab Makes Wearing Face Masks
This move comes as part of a broader strategy to combat the smog crisis in the province. In compliance with the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), a smog emergency has been declared in the province. Furthermore, strict measures have been ordered against those who fail to apply water during construction activities, a practice that contributes to air pollution.
In addition to these immediate measures, the government is also investing in long-term solutions. An agreement has been reached with a Chinese company to install an Air Quality Monitoring System in Lahore. This system will provide valuable data to inform future policies and actions related to air quality management.
The government’s decision to mandate the use of face masks in schools underscores the seriousness of the smog situation in Punjab. It is a clear call to action for everyone in the province to play their part in mitigating the effects of this environmental crisis.