Sindh govt advises public to wear face masks amidst rising smog concerns

KARACHI: Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar called on the public to ensure the use of face masks amid Karachi’s worsening air quality.

According to the statement released by the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, the province’s chief executive has urged the educational institutes to ensure that students wear face masks to “protect themselves from illnesses concomitant with smog.”

Furthermore, the chief minister has also urged all stakeholders to “move beyond car-centric infrastructure” and instead invest in public transport and pedestrian-friendly alternatives.

At present, IQ Air ranks Karachi as the third city with the worst air quality index in the world. The development comes as various parts of the country have been gripped with severe smog amid worsening pollution levels.

Punjab, especially Lahore which has repeatedly topped the air quality charts as the world’s most polluted city. AQI as high as 151-200 is considered unhealthy, while an AQI rating between 201 to 300 is more harmful and AQI over 300 has been extremely hazardous.
The air becomes heavier in the winter as compared to summer, causing poisonous particles in the atmosphere to move downwards and making the atmosphere polluted. As a result, a layer of polluted particles, including large amounts of carbon and smoke, covers an area.

The smoke produced by burning crop remnants, factories and burning coal, garbage, oil or tyres enters in the atmosphere and the impact of it appears at the onset of winter and remain till the season’s end, experts said.

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