Saturday July 13, 2024

Punjab schools shut for four days to curb pink eye infection

CM Naqvi expresses annoyance over presence of infected students during a visit to school

By Ummay Farwa
September 27, 2023
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at a primary school. — AFP/File
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at a primary school. — AFP/File

LAHORE: In a bid to contain the conjunctivitis virus, the Punjab government has announced a four-day holiday from Thursday to Sunday in all educational institutions across the province. 

The decision comes after caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Wednesday visited a government school in Lahore and expressed annoyance over the presence of students affected by conjunctivitis.

The interim chief minister summoned the secretary of schools immediately and directed that children suffering from the virus will not be allowed to attend school.

The decision was taken to protect children from the conjunctivitis epidemic in Punjab, the secretary of schools said.

“In the wake of the spread of Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye Infection 141 among school kids, Competent Authority is pleased to announce that all Public & Private Schools of the Province shall remain closed from Thursday 28-09-2023 till Sunday 01-10-2023,” read an official notification.

It further said that all schools will reopen from Monday and observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of pink eye infection.

“All Chief Executive Officers (DEAs) in Punjab are directed to ensure compliance of the orders,” it added.

Speaking to the media after visiting the school, CM Naqvi said conjunctivitis is spreading rapidly in schools and six to seven children in each class were found affected by conjunctivitis.

He said SOPs will be strictly implemented from Monday in all educational institutions across the province under which teachers will inspect the eyes of every child at the school entrance.

Conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by infection or allergies. It usually gets better in a couple of weeks without treatment.

Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye.

It usually affects both eyes and makes them:

  • red
  • burn or feel gritty
  • produce pus that sticks to lashes
  • itch
  • water