Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the coronavirus may be spreading faster than expected in Afghanistan as it hit the peak.
The health ministry raised the alarm over the spread of the new coronavirus after a small study with random tests in Kabul suggested that about a third of the capital’s residents could be infected.
MoPH officials said 500 random coronavirus tests in Kabul revealed more than 150 positive results, sparking concerns.
Ministry spokesman Wahid Mayar called the results from the capital “concerning” and said people must remain in their homes to slow the spread.
Afghanistan has so far taken close to 12,000 samples, of which more than 2,700 have been positive, and 85 people have died.
Kabul and most other cities are in lockdown.
At least 12 people died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Afghanistan as 235 new positive cases surfaced across the country in the past 24 hours.
Waheedullah Mayar, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed the new deaths and positive cases during a press conference in Kabul.
Mayar further added that 12 people died of the virus in the past 24 hours in Afghanistan.
He also added that the public health authorities recorded 235 new positive cases during the same period, increasing the total number of positive cases to 2,704.
According to Mayar, 63 of the positive cases were recorded in Kabul, 54 in Kandahar, 19 in Herat, 14 in Panjshir, 13 in Takhar, 12 in Nangarhar, 10 in Samangan, 10 in Ghor, 9 in Baghlan and 7 in Wardak province.
The remaining cases were recorded in Badghis, Bamyan, Laghman, Sar-e Pul, Kunar and Helmand provinces.
Meanwhile, Mayar said a total of 14 patients recovered from the disease across the country during the same period.
The Afghan government released a group of 100 Taliban prisoners in a bid to help the process and the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Javid Faisal, a spokesperson for the Office of National Security Council said the government released the prisoners on Saturday.
In the meantime, the General Directorate of Pul-e Charkhi prisons the prisoners were released on Saturday on a presidential decree.
According to the press release, the process of will be continued.
With the release of these prisoners, the total number of released Taliban prisoners by the government reaches 650.
Afghan local officials say the Turkmenistan aids have arrived in Faryab province.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has recently signed a decree on sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Turkmenistan and Afghanistan cooperate in trade and economic, fuel and energy, transport and communication spheres.
The construction of Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) pipeline, high-voltage power transmission line and fiber-optic communication along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route are some of the projects the countries collaborate on.
The countries also carry out transit and transport projects. One of the them is Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transit and transport corridor that expends economic and trade ties between States of Central and South Asia and Europe.
Kabul police say a district manager has been arrested on charges of stealing 200 bags of flour.
The spokesman of Kabul Police, Ferdaws Faramarz said a district manager of PD15 named Shafiqullah was arrested with two of his colleagues on Saturday night in connection with the stealing 200 bags of flour aid which were allocated for the needy people.
Faramarz added that his case is under investigation.
This comes as the government has recently started the distribution process of bread for the needy people amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Pakistan’s Minister for SAFRON and Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi has said the UNHCR had decided to replicate the Ehsaas Programme of Pakistan under which 36000 Afghan refugee families trapped in lockdown would be provided Rs 12000 each.
Addressing a gathering of Afghan refugees after distributing food packages among 1500 families at Afghan Refugee Camp in I-12 sector, Afridi said in the second phase, UNHCR plans to give Rs 12,000 to each family.
On the occasion, Afridi said the ‘good news’ about peace process were coming from Afghanistan as Pakistan was facilitating peace talks to help bring peace in war torn-Afghanistan.
He said soon intra-Afghan peace talks could resume which would lay basis for peace and development of the region.
He said restoration of peace in Afghanistan would help dignified repatriation of Afghan Refugees to their own country.