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Afghanistan’s coronavirus cases jump to 22

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: Afghanistan has now 22 coronavirus cases. Public Health Ministry said on Monday said that five more Covid-19 cases have been recorded in Herat, Logar and Badghis provinces, pushing the total number of the infected to 22 cases in Afghanistan.

The patients had recently returned from Iran where coronavirus cases have seen largest daily jump since last week with a rapid spike in death toll.

Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz told a press conference on Monday that two suspected cases from Heart, two from Logar and one from Badghis have been tested positive.

This is as 37 patients suspected to have been infected with the virus have escaped from Sheidayi hospital. They have reportedly shattered hospital glasses and beaten up doctors to make their way out.

Twelve cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Herat, three in Samangan, two in Logar, one in Badghis, one in Kapisa, one in Balkh and one in Daikundi province; and the patients are under intensive care, said Minister Feroz.

“So far, 264 suspected cases have been collected and tested in laboratories, out of which 22 were positive. Another case is being tested,” he added.

Most infections being Herat indicates that that province is very vulnerable as it is near Iran. Minister Feroz said 96 new health workers have been deployed in Herat to combat the spread of the virus. A hospital was opened recently in Herat and another 300-bed facility will be established and expanded, he said.

“A total of 8.5 million afs, medicine and kits worth 12 million afs, and 5 million afs medical equipment have been sent to Herat,” said the minister.

“We have opened a 100-bed hospital in Kabul, one in Nangarhar, and another in Kandahar, and a 200-bed facility in Balkh. There is a 30-bed isolated ward in Nimroz and another in Farah,” he said.

He elaborated that 30,000 diagnostic kits are available as well as 30,000 kits pledge by China and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Also MoPH doctors and staffs are on high alert in order to fight this epidemic disease threats in the country, he mentioned.

He said that each individuals and families have the responsibility to work against this threat in the society.

In advance for more assurance, besides testing in Kabul the samples were sent to Netherland for testing, but after number of test which was correct, now samples are testing in Kabul, he noted.

Technical efforts are underway to establish diagnostic center in Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces.

He said that screening programs boosted up in Herat Kandahar as well as it was started in Kabul entrance gate.

Guidance also has been established for the governmental and non-governmental offices.

Around four weeks ago MoPH declared that the first Coronavirus was registered in western Herat province. The person, who detected with Coronavirus infection, had recently returned from Qum city of Iran the neighboring country.

This came while recently return of Afghan refugee increased from Iran the neighboring country, where Coronavirus has killed hundreds of people and it caused a matter of concern for people and they are asking the Afghan government to take a serious step for reduction of risk in the aspect.  

Afghan government shuts schools, bans public events amid coronavirus fears.

Director General for Office of Public and Strategic Affairs of the Government of Afghanistan Waheed Omar said that based on government committee decision, funerals ceremonies for men must be held in open space not in mosques and for female inside the houses in open air with limits. Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Kabul Municipality and Locality organs are tasked to take step in this regard.  

Afghan government asked all people to avoid of attending to the gatherings including wedding and engagement parties to be safe of probable risk of Coronavirus.

 According to report the Afghanistan’s Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission said that those civil servants who are aged 58-65 could work from home for three weeks from today (Monday) as a precaution against coronavirus.

Female employees who are pregnant have also asked to work from home for two weeks.

Similar those employees who have recently returned from countries where coronavirus has spread were ordered to use their annual leave for two weeks.

Afghan government also closed all schools, institutes and Universities for a month as well as has canceled New Year festival and all sports events to prevent spreading of Covid-19 throughout the country.

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