Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Designated by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) as one of the only four COVID-19 treatment centres in the city, Kabul Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) District Hospital is adapting to a new and crucial role in responding to COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the intense gravity of the situation, a joint effort between ICRC and ARCS to receive COVID-19 patients is a welcoming endeavour to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Support from the ICRC to the ARCS to alleviate the District Hospital’s response to COVID-19 includes training existing staff on infection control, using personal protective materials, sharing guidelines, and advising on patient flow and treatment.
Aid agency Oxfam International is to severely Curtail its Work because of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Its plans include the closure of operations in 18 countries including Afghanistan at the potential cost of 1,450 jobs.
The organisation, which currently operates in 66 countries and whose global work is coordinated via 20 affiliate offices around the world, said in a statement that it has had to accelerate changes as a result of the pandemic.
Countries it will be exiting include Afghanistan, Egypt, Rwanda, Sudan and Tanzania. It said the changes will affect around 1,450 out of nearly 5,000 programme staff.
Following the failure of quarantine in controlling the rise of Coronavirus cases in Kabul, local officials have announced a complete lockdown during and after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays. Kabul Governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, in a press conference on Thursday, asked the city resident to comply with the strict curfew and work with the country’s security forces. These measures will prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in the coming days, he added.
In the new version of the quarantine, gatherings, parties and entertainments during the coming Eid holidays are prohibited. Security forces have been instructed to take the restrictions imposed on the patrol seriously. Haidari said the spread of the Coronavirus and the number of infected people in Kabul had increased, and that citizens would not be allowed to travel to or from Kabul during Eid.
New quarantine method after Eid
Haidari attributed poverty and hardship as the reason people broke quarantine in the last few days and to the streets. He stressed that the Cabinet has provided and approved specific measures to manage the quarantine better in the days after Eid.
The new measures would include normal operations for grocery stores, fruit shops, aid agencies, banks and oil tanks if they can adopt basic health security measures. Shops producing and selling materials, dry fruit shops, boutiques, photography, clothing and footwear stores can be active from 8 am to 2 pm. Car and flea repair shops located in certain areas can be open from 2 to 5 pm, as well as tailors from 6 pm to 12 pm. There would be limited sightseeing activities.
The move comes as the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has risen to 8,676, most of them in Kabul.
Representatives from Iran’s government and non-governmental charities discussed ways to address the problems faced by Afghan citizens in Iran due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
A group of representatives from local and international NGOs and other humanitarian groups met the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran. The participants discussed various topics, specifically the issues relating to Afghans stuck in Iran due to the closure of their land borders due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The groups also discussed possible solutions and outreach methods.