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Officials warn of rapid spread of Indian coronavirus variant

AT News

KABUL: As Afghan hospitals are overwhelmed with an increasing number of coronavirus patients, health officials are warning about a rapid spread of the highly contagious Indian-origin Delta variant across the nation.

Addressing a conference on Saturday, Minister of Public Health Wahid Majrooh said test results in laboratories suggest that Indian delta variant virus is rapidly spreading across Afghanistan. He said the ministry’s laboratories have the capacity to test the new variant virus.

“From 19 tests, 11 of them are identified as the Indian variant and the remaining 8 cases are the English variant,” said the minister.

He linked the Indian variant as underlying reason behind surging infections across the country. He said that the number of coronavirus cases have increased, while most hospitals are facing lack of oxygen supplies.

He even floated a plan for reopening schools and universities by next week only by strict health measures.

About vaccines, Majrooh said that the U.S. will supply roughly 3 million vaccine doses to Afghanistan in July and that the shots will be administered to people above age of 55, as well as health workers, teachers and parents of schoolchildren from 1st to 3rd grade.

He blamed a surge in coronavirus cases on people for failing to abide by health guidelines, saying that some wedding halls are secretly operating in some provinces and that people cooperation is very low with the health sector.

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