Lahore has become the latest megacity to shut down as pollution chokes swathes of South Asia, where nearly 50 million people have been breathing toxic air for nearly a week.
Pakistan’s second most populous city – of more than 13 million people – has shut schools and closed public parks, malls and offices after the air quality index (AQI) this week spiked to more than 400. That number is considered “hazardous” by the Swiss air tracking company.
Lahore’s Chief Minister, Mohsin Naqvi said Authorities in Pakistan’s Punjab province have imposed an “environmental and health emergency” in three cities – Gujranwala and Hafizabad in addition to Lahore – until the situation improves. The three cities combined account for more than 15 million people.