Kabul: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Saturday said that the capacity to detect the delta variant of the coronavirus has been developed by in-house specialists in the ministry’s central laboratories.
Acting Minister of Health, Vahid Majrooh, told a news conference at the government’s media center that currently 55-60 percent of coronavirus positive cases are of the delta-type variant. Majrooh also said that the delta type of coronavirus is spreading rapidly and widely in the country and one of the reasons for the increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases and the deterioration of the situation is the circulation of this type of coronavirus.
He said that two days ago, 19 samples of suspected cases were tested in the central laboratories of the Ministry of Public Health, of which 11 samples were detected as delta and eight samples were detected as alpha UK type virus. The capacity to detect the UK variant of the coronavirus was previously established in the central laboratories of the Ministry of Public Health.
This comes even as the MoPH recorded 1,095 new positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and 56 deaths in the past 24 hours. The total cases now stand at 114,220, while the number of deaths is 4,650.
On the other hand, the acting Minister of Public Health said that the process of testing suspected cases of coronavirus is a long process, but recently Afghan experts have shortened the process by eliminating two steps. Majrooh said that the steps of transferring samples in VTM tools from one province to another and extraction kits have been removed from the process of testing samples suspected of having the coronavirus. He argued that equipment and consumables were scarce and expensive in these two stages.
Also, Majrooh said that people still do not follow the health instructions properly and hotels are open in some provinces. Majrooh said that the effects of quarantine and restrictions on the activities of some guilds and the blocking of universities and schools are seen, but the restrictions in cities are not well managed. He added that the situation would be better if the quarantine situation is managed properly.
However, Majrooh said the Ministry of Public Health is “under intense pressure” from various sections of society to reopen private schools and universities. Majrooh added that the Ministry of Public Health has to prepare a plan to determine the fate of private schools and universities. According to him, a national committee will be formed within the ministry today to work in this field.
The committee said that starting today, the committee will work with officials from the Ministries of Education, Higher Education, the Higher Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education, and the Association of Private Schools and Universities to prepare a mechanism for reopening schools and universities with minimum precautions.