The motorway sections from Samundri to Darkhana (M3), Gojra to Shamkot (M4) and Khanewal to Multan (M5) have been closed as dense fog engulfed parts of Punjab on night between Thursday and Friday.
According to private news channel,Dense fog has also disrupted flow of traffic at the National Highway in Bahawalpur, Multan, Khanewal, Gojra, Basti Maluk, Lodhran and several other cities as visibility was very low.
The Motorway police have advised the drivers to switch on fog lights while driving at very slow speed as the visibility was dropped to zero meters due to dense fog. The Motorway police have also requested the people to stay home and avoid unnecessary traveling.
Experts advised motorists to take extra care when driving in foggy weather conditions in Punjab particularly during the mornings and early evenings, when the fog reduces visibility on the roads to only a few hundred meters or less.
Health experts also advised common people to move around with face masks to protect themselves from breathing problems, eye, nose and throat infections during Foggy cold season.
ENT specialist Dr. Mohammad Shafi Mohammadi talking to private news channel he explained about smog effects on public health that smog can cause breathing problems and may cause surge in the incidence of asthma in children.”
He maintained that particles of toxic chemicals in smog are easily inhaled through lungs and can cause serious problems for health, thus, heavy smog results in a low production of vitamin-D leading to cases of rickets among people.
He said as a blanket of thick smog has enveloped many parts of Punjab which reducing visibility and resulting in breathing difficulties and irritation in eyes.
He recommend artificial tears for eyes as one way of dealing with smog. The public is also advised to adopt preventative measures such as avoiding the outdoors and using face masks when going out, especially young children, elderly and patients, he added.
Dr said lack of rain, pollution, smoke from vehicles, factories and burnt crops are worsening smog situation in Punjab every year. He said the pollution could only be washed away by rain or strong winds but in next whole week there is no chance of rain so public should take care of themselves.
Meanwhile, another medical expert Dr Uzair said there is smoke everywhere and people, including youngsters, kids, elderly are finding it difficult to breathe.
He said that primary and secondary healthcare department in Punjab has directed the officials to display health instructions in all district headquarter hospitals. Banners, steamers and guidelines have been displayed on all important points for the guidance of citizens. He said that citizens should cover the mouth with mask and use glasses to avoid health problems.
According to the experts, citizens who are already facing breathing trouble like asthma or bronchitis are at a higher risk of facing danger from the combined pollution. Apart from people with asthma or lung infections, they noted that children and senior citizens who have higher chances for facing breathing trouble owing to pollution caused during the season.
Health expert suggested keeping the body hydrated and drinking more water than usual during this time. One can also consume vegetable and fruit juices.
Asthmatic patients should carry their inhalers at all time. They can also increase their medication after consulting with their physicians if their symptoms worsen, they added.
Punjab government is making concerted efforts for prevention of smog, experts said. However, “Unnecessary travel should be avoided in the fog, but if you must, the vehicle should have front and rear fog lights, and working windshield wipers and defogger system,” he suggested.