Karachi Government urges public to wear face masks amid smog

Karachi smog

Karachi, November 28, 2023 : Sindh’s Caretaker Chief Minister, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar, urged the public to prioritize the use of face masks in response to the deteriorating air quality in Karachi.

As per a statement from the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, the provincial chief executive has called on educational institutions to ensure students wear face masks for self-protection against smog-related health issues.

Additionally, the chief minister encouraged stakeholders to shift focus from car-centric infrastructure, advocating for investments in public transport and pedestrian-friendly alternatives.

Currently, Karachi holds the undesirable position of being the third city worldwide with the poorest air quality index, according to IQ Air.

This situation coincides with severe smog affecting different regions of the country due to escalating pollution levels. Notably, Punjab, particularly Lahore, has consistently topped global air quality charts as the most polluted city.

An Air Quality Index (AQI) ranging from 151 to 200 is deemed unhealthy, while a rating between 201 to 300 is considered more harmful, and an AQI surpassing 300 is deemed extremely hazardous.

During winter, the air tends to become denser compared to summer, causing harmful particles in the atmosphere to descend, resulting in increased pollution. This leads to the formation of a layer of pollutants, including significant amounts of carbon and smoke, enveloping the affected area.

Experts note that the smoke generated from burning crop residues, industrial activities, and the combustion of coal, garbage, oil, or tires is released into the atmosphere. The impact of this pollution becomes evident at the onset of winter and persists throughout the season.

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