LHC issues directives for schools closure

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Monday ordered the closure of all educational institutions in Punjab on Saturdays until the end of January to curb smog.

LHC judge Justice Shahid Karim issued a written order on petitions filed by citizens seeking measures to tackle air pollution in the country. In a detailed order, the judge has directed the provincial government to issue a notification for closure of schools, colleges and universities on Saturdays till last week of January.

The order further said that the government was taking measures to ensure work from home for two days a week. On November 18, the Punjab Government imposed a smart lockdown in the 10 most polluted districts on Saturday (November 18).

Movement was restricted in Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin and Narowal districts having the highest Air Quality Index (AQI) and as such potential hotspots for Conjunctivitis due to smog. “The spread of Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye due to bacterial or viral infection, smoke, dust or chemical exposure is increasing day by day, which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health”, read a notification issued by the Punjab Health Department.

A day earlier, the provincial government has made it mandatory for people to wear mask while going outdoor. It is pertinent to mention here that a four-day holiday was observed in smog-hit areas of the province on last week and some businesses were also asked to shut down, but later allowed to remain operational as rains had subdued the smog.

Court orders govt to submit report within a week in Stent case: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday directed the provincial government to submit a reply to a plea seeking action against the responsible in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) expired stents case.

LHC Justice Raheel Kamran took up the plea of Rana Sikandar advocate seeking action against those responsible for the expired stents case scandal. At the outset of the hearing, the counsel of the caretaker Punjab government sought time to submit the reply in the case, which was okayed by the LHC bench.

The high court directed the Punjab government to submit its response to the expired stents case within a week. Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report ? revealed 38 patients were inserted as many as 39 expired stents at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), last year.

The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) preliminary report on the use of expired stents stated that 500 stents were bought from a private company in 2019.

The acquired stents were supposed to be inserted in 2020 but they were to be inserted into the patients even after 19 months of their expiry date. The report revealed that despite the availability of stents, the PIC kept on demanding the same from other hospitals showing the element of malice in the case as evidence, the report read.