KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani has issued an order that sentences those people who smuggle medical equipment to abroad to 20 years in prison.
There are reports of stealing and smuggling of medical equipment including ventilators to the neighboring Pakistan. The equipment were donated by friendly countries last year when the country was severely threatened by the Corona virus.
Wahid Majrooh, acting public health minister, said Monday that under presidential order, those who try to smuggle an oxygen balloon or other medical essentials will be sent to prison for 20 years.
Majrooh shared the order with the heads of public health departments in the provinces through a video conference, according to ministry of public health.
Majrooh said that President Ghani had ordered the ministry of interior to do their best to prevent smuggling of medical equipment to abroad.
In a statement, the ministry of public health said that Ghani’s order was aiming to fight the third wave of the Corona virus that is infecting more people nowadays.
The Presidential order also included priorities to vaccinate elderly people and patients, to employ those health workers who had been fired and to evaluate the Corona virus centers and their medical equipment.
Media outlets last year reported that 32 ventilators donated to public health ministry were smuggled to Pakistan, while hospitals and other medical facilities severely needed the machineries to treat Covid patients.
The report was rejected by the presidential office that said no ventilator was smuggled to abroad.