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Efforts on to prevent second wave of COVID-19

Afghanistan reports 230 new infections, 16 fatalities in a day

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan government is striving to prevent a second wave of coronavirus in the country, said Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday.

“We have solid preparations to see there is no second wave of COVID-19 virus,” said Minister of Public Health Dr. Ahmad Jawad Osmani.

Addressing the media at a conference with other high-ranking government officials, he said beds for coronavirus patients have doubled to more than 2,000 and special COVID-19 wards have been opened in all hospitals in Kabul city and across the country.

“Moreover, five committees have been formed to manage all operations to stem a second wave in the winter season,” he reckoned.

About the vaccine, Dr. Osmani said Afghanistan will be acquiring enough vaccines for 20% of the country’s population till end of 2021 with the help from the World Bank and Asian Bank.

He called upon the nation to help the government prevent a sudden spike in coronavirus infections by obeying health laws, wearing masks and avoiding crowds.

Addressing the media, Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Mohammad Qasem Halimi also encouraged the public to obey health recommendations. He added that mosques will be ordered to stop hosting funeral ceremonies in order to avoid large public gatherings.

President Ghani has also chaired an emergency coronavirus meeting on Wednesday in which he stressed on the need to prepare for a sudden spike in COVID-19 which may hit the country.

President Spokesman Sediq Seddiqi in a tweet said the president discussed immediate issues such as oxygen supplies, test capacities, training of the first responders, re-directing resources, mobilizations of a whole government and partnership approach and making immediate decisions with relevant officials.

“The president said we should not allow any stress on our medical system, shall unwrap uncertainty, draw clearer conclusions and have a coherent strategy to deal with the 2nd wave. He said we should avoid any wishful thinking and fragmentation and understand the constraints,” added Seddiqi.

According to health ministry, Afghanistan had 230 new coronavirus cases and 16 fatalities in the past day, making it 49,970 total cases since the outbreak of the virus. Some 148 patients have recovered from the virus as well, amounting to 38,648 total recoveries. Over 2,017 Covid patients have died since the pandemic hit Afghanistan, said the ministry on Wednesday.

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