LAHORE: The Punjab government has made an announcement to temporarily close all public and private educational institutions throughout the province from Thursday to Sunday. This decision comes in response to a recent outbreak of conjunctivitis.
The trigger for this decision was a visit by Mohsin Naqvi, the interim Chief Minister of Punjab, to a government school in Lahore on Wednesday. During his visit, he expressed dissatisfaction with the presence of students who were affected by conjunctivitis. In response, he promptly summoned the school secretary and instructed that children with the virus should not be allowed to attend school.
The primary motive behind this decision is to safeguard the children of Punjab from the growing conjunctivitis epidemic. The school secretary confirmed this rationale.
An official notification was issued stating, “Due to the increasing cases of Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye Infection, all public and private schools in the province will remain closed from Thursday, September 28, 2023, until Sunday, October 1, 2023.” The notification also mentioned that schools would resume normal operations starting from Monday while strictly adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) aimed at preventing the further spread of the pink eye infection.
The notification emphasized the importance of all Chief Executive Officers (DEAs) in Punjab ensuring compliance with these orders.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an eye condition caused by infection or allergies. Typically, it resolves on its own within a few weeks without the need for treatment.
CM Naqvi, addressing the media after his school visit, highlighted the rapid spread of conjunctivitis in educational institutions. He noted that six to seven children in each class were affected by the condition. Starting from Monday, strict SOPs will be enforced in all educational institutions across the province, including the examination of every child’s eyes at the school entrance.
Conjunctivitis is characterized by redness, a burning or gritty sensation, the production of pus that adheres to the lashes, itching, and watering of the eyes.