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Coronavirus triggers economic crisis in Balkh

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KABUL: Officials in northern Balkh province say coronavirus lockdown has triggered an economic downturn, as thousands have lost their jobs. The situation is even exacerbated by an uptick in food prices.

But the provincial officials said that the lockdown was aimed to avoid the spread of the pandemic Covid-19.

Officials at the Balkh public health have expressed concerns on the rapid death toll of the Covid-19 patients.

However some residents criticized on the government for handing over their patients, who died of coronavirus. 

Like many other big cities in Afghanistan, Mazar-e-Sharif, the provincial capital city, has been lockdown for the second round after the pandemic virus has been rapidly increased countrywide.

 “Over 13,000 patients of covid-19 have been recorded in Mazar-e-Sharif,” said head of Balkh public health, Nizamuddin Jalil, adding, “over 50 patients were recovered and more than 40 died.”

 He called on the people to observe medical recommendation and precautionary measures to avoid the further spread of the virus in the city.

Meanwhile, provincial governor’s office said that the lockdown would be continued if the coronavirus cases were intensifying. “We will hold a meeting with the related organizations,” said Munir Farhad, a spokesman for the governor’s office. “The situation would be evaluated in the meeting.”

Officials at the chamber of commerce and industry of Balkh said that lockdown has downturn about 80 percent economy and business deals in the province.

“We are worried that the continuation of the lockdown would pose disaster,” said an official of chamber of commerce and industry, Naseer Ahmad Qasimi. “People are jobless; everybody is deprived of a normal life”.

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