Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghanistan’s parliament has shut down for two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, the parliament was holding its general session once a week, but its commissions were carrying out administrative duties on the days.
The decision to shut the parliament was made by lawmakers through open voting.
Some lawmakers who opposed the move accused the government of pressuring the parliament’s administrative panel to put it forward.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country now reached 1939.
Afghanistan on Wednesday began free distribution of bread at bakeries for the poor and needy as the coronavirus lockdown continues in the country.
Up to 250,000 needy families in the capital Kabul will begin receiving ten flat naan breads per day in the first phase of the project, the Kabul Municipality announced.
Kabul Mayor Mohammad Dawood Sultanzoy said the project aims at addressing the basic need of those worst affected by the lockdown measures due to the pandemic.
“The bakeries that have the capacity to distribute bread to the deserving have been selected for the project considering their compliance with health guidelines as well as the quality and quantity of the bread,” he said.
A day earlier, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced the bread distribution project would be replicated in other worst affected cities, including Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, Kandahar, Kunduz and Jalalabad.
South Asia could face yet another health emergency if children across the region do not receive their life-saving vaccine shots, the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, has warned.
It said nearly a quarter of the world’s unimmunized or partially immunized children – about 4.5 million children – live in South Asia. Almost all of them, 97 per cent, live in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
The warning comes during the April 24 to 30 World Immunization Week, which is marked annually in the last week of April. The aim of the week is to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.
Yet nearly 20 million children in the world today are not getting the vaccines they need.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in the country as the number of confirmed cases nears 2,000.
The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar in a press conference said that 110 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the country in the past 24 hours, and included is this is 58 cases reported from Kabul.
He added that according to figures, Kabul province witnessed the most positive cases of the Coronavirus in one single day on Tuesday.
Mayar warned that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing day by day and called on Afghan citizens to implement the restrictions for the prevention of further spread of the virus in the country.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country now reaches 1939.
Following coronavirus outbreak in a number of cities in Iran, a number of Afghan refugees living in various cities of the neighboring countries have started returning to their homes in Afghanistan, but after agreement between Tehran and Kabul in connection with curing coronavirus infected Afghan refugees in Iranian hospitals, returning of Afghan families has reduced by 83 percent.
Officials for Afghanistan ministry of refugees and repatriates say returning of Afghan refugees from Iran has cut down by 83 percent after Tehran and Kabul agreed that coronavirus infected Afghans would be cured in Iranian hospitals free of charges.
“Returning of Afghans from Iran to Afghanistan has continually reduced during the past few weeks as COVID19 infected Afghans are now accepted to be cured in Iranian hospitals,” said Abdul Basit Ansari, media advisor to the ministry of refugees.
According to Ansari, since the beginning of the month of March, 240,000 Afghan refugees have voluntarily returned home from Iran.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) at least 110 new cases of the coronavirus were 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 58 cases in Kabul, 15 in Kandahar, 12 in Paktia, 6 in Ghazni, 5 in each provinces of Laghman, Nangarhar, 3 in each provinces of Takhar, Farah, 2 in Helmand and one in Kunduz.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country reaches 1939.
Afghan health authorities say at least 18 new cases of the coronavirus have been registered in Nangarhar, Laghman and Paktia provinces during 24 hours.
The Public Health department of Paktia province said ten new cases of the coronavirus including six in the center and four in the district were recorded in the province’s laboratory during the past 24 hours.
With the registration of the new cases, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Paktia reaches 84.
In the meantime, the Nangarhar governor’s press office said that 8 new cases of the coronavirus were registered in the province’s laboratory during the past 24 hours.
According to the governor’s Office, four cases were recorded in Nangarhar and four others in Laghman province.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Nangarhar reaches 46 and in Laghman reaches 33.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) says that if the government fails to contain the spread of Coronavirus within the next five months, Afghanistan’s national income could be reduced by 50%.
Officials at the ministry said the Coronavirus could lead the country’s economy in crisis.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department of the MoF underlined that there are concerns about a 50 percent drop in revenue in the country.
According to officials, the economic crisis would hit Afghanistan if COVID-19 spread continues in the country.