Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
More than 20,000 stranded Afghans went back to their country via Torkham during the last four days of border reopening.
Officials say that the last day was comparatively calm as only about 1,100 Afghans, mostly men, crossed the border prior to its closure. The total number of returned Afghans during the four days was 20,066, they said.
Officials said that the second and third day (April 7 and 8) were very tough for them as the ‘influx’ of the stranded Afghan was beyond their expectations.
“Cumulatively, almost 18,000 Afghans, including men, women and children, went back home in these two days as the government had relaxed its immigration policy by allowing just all and sundry t cross the border,” an official told this scribe on condition of anonymity.
The Afghan Ministry of Public Health on Friday reported 37 more COVID-19 cases in 12 of the country’s 34 provinces, bringing the national total to 521 cases.
“Within the past 24 hours, 37 new coronavirus cases were reported in 12 provinces, including 16 cases in Kabul province and eight cases in western Herat province,” Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman of the ministry, said in a statement.
The spokesman noted that more people have been infected inside Afghanistan than those from other affected countries.
“The novel coronavirus is circulating in Afghanistan now. More efforts and measures are needed to contain the pandemic,” he said.
Fifteen patients have died and 32 others have recovered since the outbreak in mid February in Afghanistan, according to the official.
Local officials in Ghazni province say one patient infected with the coronavirus has died in the province.
The Ghazni governor’s office said in a statement on Thursday that one patient Infected with the coronavirus had died in Ghazni 20-Bed hospital of the province.
According to the report, the victim was a Kochi resident living in the center of Ghazni, who had been diagnosed with coronavirus and was under intensive care.
So far, six people in Ghazni have been infected with the coronavirus.
The death toll from the coronavirus reaches to 16 in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced that the ministry has launched an informative application to
inform Afghans about how to stay safe and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to MoPH press release, the application, which launched on Thursday was created in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The Minister of Health, Firuzuddin Firuz said the application will help Afghan citizens to have more information about the coronavirus.
The Minister of Health also said that in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and identify of infected people in Kabul, the ministry has set up 22 sampling centers in key areas of Kabul, as well as to evacuate patients with the coronavirus.
In the meantime, the Darlaman Palace, with a capacity of 300 beds, the dormitories of Polytechnic and Kabul University have been prepared for the coronavirus patients.
The address of coronavirus application is www.corona.asan.gov.af.
Local officials in Herat province say that a Coronavirus Management Center has been opened to coordinate all related activities to fight the virus in the province.
The Herat Governor’s Office said in a statement that the center opened on Thursday and the authorities of the Corona Committee for Combating the Virus were instructed to work 24 hours a day, in addition to leading the fight management.
With the coronavirus, they are working to solve the problems of citizens and families in order to provide treatment and prevention facilities.
This is the first Corona Virus Management Center in Herat to open recently.
So far, 484 people across the country have been infected with the coronavirus, of which 32 have recovered and 16 have died.
Herat province has the highest number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan.
Officials at Kabul’s Pul-e Charkhi prison say about 150 prisoners have been released based on a presidential decree.
The Pul-e-Charkhi Central Prison Press Office said in a statement that 150 prisoners released on Thursday following a presidential decree to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The released are individuals who have been sentenced to less than five years in prison after which they were released after a check and examination by the Central Prison Health Department.
According to the press release, the process of releasing the prisoners in accordance with the issued decree will continue.
However, after the spread of the coronavirus in the country, the presidency has ordered the release of about 10,000 prisoners from the country’s prisons.
Dozens of prisoners have already been released from prisons in different provinces.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the ministry needs more than 54 million liters of disinfectant and more than a million protective kits, which are impossible to obtain from abroad, to fight the coronavirus.
Minister of Health Firuzuddin Firuz in a press conference in Kabul on Thursday said that the ministry was working to provide the equipment with the help of domestic producers and to set up a manufacturing factory in accordance with regional standards inside the country.
He added that although the ministry had imported more than 100,000 types of protective kits, the equipment have not been enough.
According to Firuz, the factory will start operating in the next three days and will have the capacity to produce 10,000 types of masks per day.
These devices are provided to doctors and people who come in contact with patients.
He also said that the production of ethanol liquid will begin soon.
He described the situation as “critical” and urged people to keep the funeral procession to a minimum and not to bury those infected with the coronavirus in cemeteries.
However, the testing process for suspected cases of coronavirus in Herat has been suspended due to a lack of materials.
On the other hand, 484 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country so far, of whom 32 of them have been recovered and 15 have died.
Health officials in Daikundi province say one of the province’s health care workers has contracted the coronavirus.
Ishaq Ali Darman, head of public health department in Daikundi province, told Reporterly on Thursday: “the test of one of our health personnel has been positive, but he has no symptoms and we have expelled him and quarantined his family.”
The head of Daikundi’s health department said that the number of people suspected of having coronavirus in Daikundi has reached 49 so far, and their samples have been sent to the center for diagnosis.
“The situation in Daikundi is deteriorating, the virus has entered the social sphere and this is the first person who has not traveled abroad. There is very little protection against the coronavirus in Daikundi,” he said.
According to Darman, a 50-bed hospital for the corona patients will be equipped next week, and the process of hiring 50 staff for the hospital is practically over today.
With the new case of coronavirus, the number of people infected with the virus in Daikundi has reached five patients.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the at least 40 new positive cases of coronavirus have been registered in the country.
The Minister of Health, Firuzuddin Firuz in a press conference said that with the registration of the new cases the number of infected patients reaches to 484.
This comes as at least 15 people have been died of the coronavirus and 32 others have been recovered so far.
The Public Health department in Kandahar province says at least nine new cases of the coronavirus have been registered in the province.
The department cited that wit lh the registration of the new cases the number of infected reaches to 32 in the province.
This comes as four new cases were reported in Paktia and one in Ghazni on Thursday.
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The Paktia governor’s press office says at least four new cases of the coronavirus have been registered in the province which the number of infected reaches to nine people.
According to the governor’s office, the four new cases are from a family which all its members got infected with the virus.
In the meantime, the Ghazni governor’s Office also announced about a new confirmed positive case of the coronavirus in the province which the number of infected reaches to 6 people.
Pakistan on Wednesday decided to facilitate cargo trucks and containers to cross into Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman border crossing points thrice a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) from April 10 onwards.
The decision was taken in response to Afghanistan government’s special request, and based on humanitarian considerations, the Pakistani Foreign Office statement issued here said.
According to the statement, this step is being taken following consultations and coordination between both sides as per agreed upon protocols. “As a neighbour and in view of fraternal relations, Pakistan remains in abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, particularly at this time of global pandemic,” the statement concluded.
“The decision has been taken in the best interest of the foreign nationals. We hope all the people concerned will not face any inconvenience,” the statement added.