Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister, Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar, has issued a public appeal for the mandatory use of face masks in light of deteriorating air quality in Karachi.
The Chief Minister’s House released a statement emphasizing the importance of face masks, particularly for students in educational institutes, to safeguard against health issues associated with smog.
Additionally, the chief minister urged all stakeholders to shift focus from car-centric infrastructure towards investments in public transport and pedestrian-friendly alternatives. Karachi currently ranks among the world’s most polluted cities for air quality, according to IQ Air.
This initiative comes as various regions across the country grapple with severe smog due to escalating pollution levels. Notably, Punjab, especially Lahore, has consistently topped global air quality charts as the most polluted city.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) indicates unhealthy levels ranging from 151-200, more harmful between 201 and 300, and extremely hazardous beyond 300.
Experts attribute the exacerbation of air pollution during winter to heavier air, causing poisonous particles to descend and create a polluted layer. Factors such as burning crop remnants, industrial emissions, and the combustion of coal, garbage, oil, or tires contribute to the smog’s impact, persisting from the onset to the end of the winter season.