The Punjab caretaker government announced on Wednesday that a startling number of 36 children succumbed to pneumonia in the last 10 days, attributing the spike to the recent cold weather surge. In a decisive response, the government has implemented a ban on morning assemblies in schools across the province, effective until January 31st, as a precautionary measure to protect the health of young students.
Emergency Measures and Advisory Committee Formation
Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed deep concern over the escalating pneumonia cases among children in Punjab. During an emergency meeting at Children’s Hospital, he consulted with senior doctors to discuss and adopt effective preventive strategies. The meeting led to the decision to grant vacations to nursery, prep, and playgroup classes until January 19th. The Chief Minister also emphasized the importance of children wearing masks, washing hands, and using warm clothing to mitigate the risk of pneumonia.
Health specialists at the meeting highlighted the rapid increase in viral pneumonia among children due to the colder weather, noting similarities in the spread of this disease to that of COVID-19. To address this urgent health crisis, the Chief Minister directed the formation of an advisory committee. This committee is tasked with reviewing pneumonia cases and submitting daily recommendations on preventive measures. Key attendees at the meeting included the Provincial Minister for Education, Mansoor Qadir, the health secretary, the special secretary of health, health specialists, and senior doctors. Heads of pediatric departments also presented their recommendations for precautionary measures.