Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, has implemented a smart lockdown in response to escalating levels of smog. The move aims to curb air pollution by restricting commercial activities and minimizing movement in the region.
Lahore, consistently ranking as one of the most polluted cities, is grappling with a thick, toxic fog, leading to a surge in pulmonary illnesses among thousands of residents.
To address the alarming air quality, the government has imposed smart lockdowns in ten districts, including Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Narowal, Hafizabad, and Mandi Bahauddin, as the Air Quality Index surpasses 400.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has announced restrictions on all movement and economic activities in these districts. Schools and universities will remain closed, while markets, gyms, and cinemas will be permitted to open after 3 pm.
In the northeastern region, long queues of vehicles contribute to pollution, blocking city arteries. Individuals with respiratory disorders are advised to take special precautions due to the hazardous air quality index in Lahore and its neighboring areas.
The Air Quality Index, ranging from 0 to 50, is considered good with minimal health risks, while an index below 100 is termed ‘moderate.’ An AQI above 100 is categorized as unhealthy, posing risks of irritation and pulmonary issues, particularly for the general public and sensitive individuals.