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Coronavirus spurs push for protection of prisoners

Authorities have tightened the crackdown on coronavirus, barred private-owned hospitals from virus testing, shut down restaurants, swimming pools and wedding halls

By Mujeeb R. Awrang

KABUL: The Ministry of Public Health said Wednesday that the private hospitals were not allowed to diagnose the pandemic coronavirus, following announcement of some Kabul-based private hospitals to test the virus.

Speaking to a news conference in Kabul, the ministry’s spokesman, Wahidullah Mayar said, “Unfortunately some private hospitals announced the test of coronavirus that charge 3,000 Afs.”

In accordance to the law, he said the ministry of health has not provided the permission to any private hospitals and clinic to diagnose the coronavirus and that only the ministry has the standard laboratories. He said that no positive corona cases have been registered within past 24 hours.

According to Mayar, Of 340 suspicious cases, 273 of them tested negative, 22 were positive and the rest 43 are under procedure. The ministry has taken serious implementation measures to avoid the further spread of the virus, he said. “We need people’s cooperation in this regard.”

To avoid the outbreak of coronavirus, the ministry of interior has suspended the wedding halls, restaurants, pools and sport centers, where a massive crowd has often existed. The implementation would be made in coordination with the Kabul municipality, the ministry said in a statement.

Citing the spread of coronavirus, the Afghan presidential palace had earlier said that all education centers would temporarily be closed till April 10th.

The Taliban in a statement have also pledge to cooperate with all international health organizations to fight the Covide-19. But in reaction to their statement, the Europe Union Representative for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia demanded the militants to cooperate and coordinate with the Afghan government to properly combat the risk of coronavirus.

“Everyone has the right to be helped against coronavirus. To be better helped, first measures should be: full ceasefire, stop taxing humanitarian aid, ensure full access and safety,” Kobia twitted.

According to the health ministry, all the infected 22 people had arrived from Iran, the neighboring country and the source of virus outbreak to Afghanistan. Every day, thousands of people arrive in Herat from Iran after Tehran launched a crackdown on the Afghan migrants due to panic campaign against  the virus that so far killed hundreds of people there.

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