Punjab announces 4-day school holiday due to conjunctivitis outbreak

Decision comes after caretaker CM spots virus-affected children during a visit to government school

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Primary school students are pictured in this undated file photo. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government has announced closing all private and government educational institutions across the province from Thursday to Sunday due to a conjunctivitis outbreak.

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.

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

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 also known as red or pink eye.

It usually affects both eyes and makes them: