Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke by phone with the foreign minister of Iran Jawad Zarif and discussed efforts on fighting the Coronavirus, the Presidential Palace said.
“Pres. Ashraf Ghani on phone discussed coordinated efforts against COVID-19 with Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif,” Sediq Sediqqi, the President’s spokesman said in a tweet.
Sediqqi added that both sides also discussed the issue of Afghan refugees in Iran, and Iran’s interest in building regional consensus for humanitarian ceasefire.
The proclaimed President of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah says he had a meeting with the Germany’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Peter Prügel.
“Today I had a constructive meeting with HE Peter Prügel the German Ambassador to Afghanistan @GermanAmbAFG. We discussed the need to resolve the current political deadlock, the #afghanpeaceprocess, and the efficient ways of tackling the #Covid-19 issue in Afghanistan,” Abdullah said.
In the meantime, German ambassador also cited that he had a “constructive discussion with Dr. Abdullah on the urgent need to overcome the political impasse in Afghanistan,” saying he hopes that an inclusive government will be formed to focus on peace process and deal with the COVID-19.
Iran has provided 20,000 coronavirus diagnostic kits to be sent to Afghanistan in a bid to help the neighboring country in the fight against the pandemic.
The diagnostic kits have been delivered to Afghanistan’s ambassador in Tehran and will be sent to Afghanistan on Wednesday, an Afghan official said.
Afghanistan’s health ministry has announced that the number of people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus passed 1,800 on Tuesday.
Bordering Iran, which had one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks globally, Herat has one of the highest number of coronavirus cases in Afghanistan.
Herat has a higher than average population of educated women who speak up against gender-based violence.
Although seeking help is still an obstacle for victims and survivors of domestic violence, some women in Herat manage to get help from organizations which provide assistance and shelters to them.
25 year-old Marzia Akbar is part of a small group of female psychologists. Her team runs a covert counselling clinic at a local hospital in Herat province. Through meetings and domestic violence hotlines, Akbari and her team help victims of domestic abuse.
Herat’s stay-at-home order due to the pandemic, caused Akbari’s team to lose contact with most of their clients during the last three weeks. In her interview with The Guardian, Akbari expressed her fear for her clients. “I’m very scared for them, many women in Herat may survive coronavirus but won’t survive the lockdown.”
According to Akbari, violence has become part of many women’s lives in Herat. She believes this normalization of violence caused her work not to be taken seriously. The clinic where Akbari and her team were helping women turned into an isolation center for patients with coronavirus.
This made Akbari’s job even harder to connect with her clients. “We tried to relocate to another place but the only reason women could manage to reach us before was because the counselling center was based at the local hospital. Many of their families didn’t know these women were seeking counselling, they thought they were attending a medical appointment.” Akbari told the Guardian.
Before the stay-at-home order in Herat, Akbari had 50 clients per week, now she can barely make phone contact with 25 of those women.
Ten citizens of Kyrgyzstan were returned to their homeland from Afghanistan, Kabul city amid COVID-19 concerns, the Republican Emergency Response Center reported.
All the arrivals were placed under observation in accordance with the established procedure.
“The citizens arrived by an Afghan airline’s commercial charter flight at Almaty International Airport, from which they were transported to Bishkek by a special transport accompanied by a healthcare employee,” the center reported.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says at least 125 new cases of the coronavirus have been registered in the country during the past 24 hours.
The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar in a press conference said that the new cases include 21 cases in Herat, 15 in Kabul, 15 in Kandahar, 10 in Balkh, 9 in Logar, 8 in Jawzjan, 7 in each provinces of Panjshir, Laghman, Paktia, 6 in each provinces of Ghazni, Takhar, 5 in Nangarhar, 2 in each provinces of Helmand, Maidan Wardak, Kunar, one case in each provinces of Badghis, Badakhshan and Kapisa.
Mayar added that eight coronavirus patients have recovered in Herat and one died of the virus in Kandahar.
This comes as the number recovered patients reaches 228 and the death toll reaches 58.
The Public Health department in Herat province says at least 21 new cases of the coronavirus were registered in the province during the past 24 hours.
The spokesman of Herat Public Health Department, Muhammad Rafiq Sherzai said around 109 suspected samples of the coronavirus were tested in the province’s laboratory which 21 of them confirmed positive.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Herat province reached 441 with 10 deaths and 110 recovered.
President Ashraf Ghani in a virtual meeting with Deborah Lyons, the newly-appointed UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan discussed a range of issues pertaining to joint efforts to contain COVID-19, the Afghan peace process, regional connectivity and upcoming Geneva Conference, a presidential statement said.
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative expressed happiness over assuming another significant responsibility in Afghanistan and said she would work to focus on Afghan government’s priorities, political issues, peace process as well as efforts to tackle with coronavirus.
Deborah Lyons said a new chapter of cooperation between the government of Afghanistan and the United Nations would enable the organization and the UN Security Council to work jointly and cohesively with the government to address the critical challenges faced by the country, the statement added.
The health authorities say at least 29 new cases of the coronavirus have been registered in the Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces during the past 24 hours.
The health department of Kandahar on Tuesday said that at least 15 new cases of the coronavirus were registered in the province’s laboratory and one patient died of the virus during the past 24 hours.
The department noted that with the registration of the new cases, the number of people infected with the coronavirus reaches 240.
In the meantime, the spokesman of Nangarhar governor stated that at least seven cases in Laghman, five in Nangarhar and two in Kunar province have been registered in the province’s laboratory during the past 24 hours.
According to Khogyani, with the registration of the new cases, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Nangarhar reaches 42, in Laghman 29 and in Kunar 25.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country reaches 1732.