Schools in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad to remain closed for two days as smog reaches hazardous level

Dunya News

Health experts have advised people, especially children, to remain indoors and take more liquids.

LAHORE (Dunya News) – As the thick blanket of smog continues to engulf Lahore on the second consecutive day, forcing citizens to take precautionary measures as the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed hazardous level on Thursday, the Punjab School Education Department has announced to close all schools in Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad for two days.

On the other hand, the Met department has predicted rain, wind/thunderstorm at scattered places in south Punjab, Sindh and northeastern Balochistan, besides at isolated places in districts of upper Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir in the next 24 hours. Snowfall is also expected over mountain.

Lahore’s AQI has witnessed an abrupt spike in air pollution from the last few days.

Weather pundits told the media that the sudden rise in smog stemmed from the smoke and other pollutants from Indian Punjab’s burning crops.

As per Lahore US consulate Air Quality Monitor feed, the level of smog was hazardous and at 10am, Lahore’s AQI was PM2.5 – 488.

In Gulberg, the AQI was 478, the Punjab Assembly vicinity observed PM2.5 at 384, Liberty at 416, Upper Mall at 1183, Sandar Industrial Estate at 459, and Bedian Road at 319.

Health experts have advised people, especially children and the elderly, to remain indoors and take more liquids.

For the last four years, smog, rightly being called the fifth season of Lahore, has deprived the people of sunshine and dusk-hour charm as layers of toxic smoke engulf horizon from November to February.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. When it crosses 500 level, it falls in the ‘severe plus’ category.

The purpose of the AQI is to help you understand what local air quality means to your health. To make it easier to understand, the AQI is divided into six categories:
"Good" AQI is 0 to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

  • "Moderate" AQI is 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.
  • "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" AQI is 101 to 150. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
  • "Unhealthy" AQI is 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.
  • "Very Unhealthy" AQI is 201 to 300. This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.
  • "Hazardous" AQI greater than 300. This would trigger a health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.