Islamabad, Nov 19 (EFE).- The government of Punjab province, in western Pakistan, on Sunday made it mandatory to wear a mask for a week in the districts most affected by smog, the toxic mist of pollution that has led to the closure of schools and businesses.
“In response to deteriorating Air Quality, the Punjab Government announces a 1-week mandate for wearing of face masks for all citizens in smog effected districts of Punjab,” the province’s interim chief minister Mohsin Naqvi said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
The order will come into effect Monday in the provincial capital, Lahore, along with some dozen districts severely affected by the pollution.
Low air quality due to smog presents a serious and imminent threat to public health for all ages, according to the authorities.
The measure is in addition to the restrictions announced in recent weeks in the region, such as the closure of all educational centers and offices.
The authorities have, however, allowed essential services to remain open.
Lahore was third in the list of most polluted cities on the planet on Sunday, according to the index prepared by the Swiss company IQAir.
The situation is similar in neighboring India, where the authorities in New Delhi have in recent weeks decreed a growing number of restrictions to try to contain pollution.
The measures, however, have been criticized by several experts as ineffective for not cracking down on sources of pollution. EFE