Smog forces govt to close schools in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala for two days

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LAHORE: The Punjab Education Department on Thursday issued a notification directing all schools in Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad to remain closed on November 15 and 16 due to poor air quality.

According to the notification, schools in the three districts will remain closed due to “dense smog” and “hazardous environment”.

Punjab Minister for Schools Education Dr Murad Raas in a tweet said, “The Punjab government is taking all necessary steps to improve air quality.”

On Wednesday, the education department issued a ban on outdoor activities in all public and private schools across the province till December 20.

The government has cautioned students against the hazardous air quality and directed them to wear air filter masks in addition to holding awareness sessions on environment in campuses.

Lahore was ranked as the second most polluted city in the world with an air quality ranking of 447, according to Air Visual’s Air Quality Index (AQI) published on Wednesday.

Indian capital New Delhi ranked first among most polluted cities with and an air quality ranking of 556.

An AQI ranking between 301-500 (or above) is classified as ‘hazardous’ and would “trigger a health warning of emergency conditions.