COVID-19 in Afghanistan (3): From 29 New Cases to Expansion of Provincial Movements Restrictions

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COVID-19 in Afghanistan (3): From 29 New Cases to Expansion of Provincial Movements Restrictions

31 Mar 2020

According to the latest statistics, 29 more people have been infected with the coronavirus, 25 of which have been reported in Herat and 4 in Kandahar, Nimroz and Daikundi.

Herat’s chief of public health department, Abdul Hakim Tamanna, said on Monday that there have been 25 positive cases of coronavirus infection registered in the province over the past 24 hours.

Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, said four of the 60 suspected cases were positive in Kabul laboratories.

Increase Day-Time Curfew in the provinces

Due to the increase in the number of coronavirus patients in the country, the movement restrictions have been expanded nationwide.

The Ghazni governor office said in a statement that the movement restrictions have been imposed in the province on the basis of the fifth provincial committee meeting on preventing coronavirus outbreaks in Ghazni.

However, Kabul and Herat provinces have already had day-time restrictions.

Javed Alimi, adviser to Sarwar Danesh, head of the Corona Anti-Virus Committee and the second vice-president, told Reporterly: “Thr Herat and Kabul provinces have been severely restricted and with a number of facilities in Kabul. But in other provinces this has been done by the people at their request to the local authorities, which is a good thing for the provincial citizens, but the official approval has been passed only for Kabul and Herat.”

Release of 220 prisoners

Following the government’s new measures, 220 prisoners were released from provincial jails on Monday, including 150 in Baghlan and Balkh, 29 in Samangan and 41 in Farah.

Ashraf Ghani has previously ordered the release of some 10,000 prisoners to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in prisons and has already released dozens of prisoners from Herat, Farah, Paktia and some other provinces.

Along with the release of these prisoners, women prisoners in Herat also protested yesterday, resulting in the wounding of six prison guards. The women protested because 500 prisoners who were sentenced to less than five years in prison, were scheduled to be released.

Constructions of hospitals

Along with other measures, seven corona hospitals will be built in Herat, Nimroz and Kabul. Construction of the Corona Special Hospital in Herat is now underway.

The Office of the President’s Operations and Support of National Development also announced that seven more hospitals will be built.

The hospitals will be built in Herat for 100 beds, Nimroz with 100 beds, 5 hospitals each with 50 beds in four districts of Chahar Asiab, Musaei, Deh Sabz, Khake Jabar and District 12 of Kabul City.

Prior to this decision, four diagnostic centers had been opened in the country. These hospitals operate in Herat, Kabul, Kandahar and Nangarhar.

Other measures

Bamyan local authorities have also confirmed that efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus are underway, and the Friday prayers in the province have been halted.

At the same time, the US embassy in Kabul says it is providing about $ 5 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to use for IDPs in the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus.

In addition, the German Catholic News Agency has announced the closure of a Catholic Christian shrine in Kabul to prevent the spread of the Corona virus, saying their religious prayers have been suspended.  210 Catholics are reported to be living in the country.

It is noteworthy to be mentioned that with the registration of these 29 new positive cases, the number of people with coronavirus reaches 170 in the country, including four NATO Servicemembers and two foreign diplomats.

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