Amidst a surge in conjunctivitis cases among students, the Punjab government has decided to close all public and private educational institutions in the province from Thursday to Sunday.
The move was prompted by the displeasure expressed by interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi during his visit to a government school in Lahore, where he observed students affected by conjunctivitis.
Following the visit, the interim chief minister promptly summoned the school secretary and instructed that students with the virus should not be allowed to attend school to prevent further spread. The closure decision aims to safeguard children from the conjunctivitis outbreak in Punjab, as stated by the school secretary.
An official notification explained, “In the wake of the spread of Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye Infection among school kids, the 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.”
The notification also outlined that schools would resume on Monday with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) to control the spread of the pink eye infection.
“All Chief Executive Officers (DEAs) in Punjab are directed to ensure compliance with the orders,” the notification added.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as red or pink eye, is typically caused by infection or allergies. The condition often resolves within a few weeks without treatment.
CM Naqvi, addressing the media after the school visit, highlighted the rapid spread of conjunctivitis in schools, with six to seven affected children in each class. He emphasized the strict implementation of SOPs starting Monday, including teachers inspecting the eyes of every child at school entrances.