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Editorial: COVID-19 running wild

After months of relative safety with the pandemic well under control, Afghanistan has been experiencing an increase in the wild spread of domestic COVID-19 cases. The concerning point is that there is a new surge in daily cases and deaths, shackling the nation who is already scrambling with a fragile economic situation. As per Wednesday, 623 new cases and 14 covid-19 related deaths were reported. On Tuesday, we had 840 new infections, and 19 deaths, a significant surge despite a stepped-up vaccination campaign. More recently, the new UK-variant cases of coronavirus were also reported in 18 out of 34 provinces, with the most cases found in Nangarhar province in the east. Afghanistan has to tighten the curb to control the spread, or else the consequences would be irreparable. The Afghan people, especially the Kabul residents should limit the amount of time they spend outside. They must stay at home or just attend workplaces – schools and universities should also be closed if it deemed necessary. If we look closely, the hundreds of thousands of infections did not happen at once. Surge in new cases and deaths have occurred gradually. In less than a month, the number of confirmed cases, plus deaths, has increased rapidly. It is scary as it sounds how much the out-of-control crisis has spread and the health officials warned the upcoming 10 days as hazardous due to the spread of the virus in the society. We already have India as good example to take the virus seriously and follow health instructions strictly like social distancing, wearing face masks, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one’s mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. We could easily save our life if we follow these simple instructions. The rapid growth rate in India already filled all the hospitals, and many of them left without bed and oxygen. The death tolls are unspeakable there. Afghanistan lacks modern health facilities compared to India and other countries. It would be out of imagination what end result is waiting for the Afghans if the virus further spreads and its control slips out of hand. In case of ignorance, millions of Afghans could be infected with the virus and if the outbreak acquires its curve, the upshot would be unbearable. The government must turn-out all the possible measures, even close some public institutions in a move to flatten the curve, otherwise it would be deadly and being remorseful won’t heal any pain.

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