Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has dedicated the Isteqlal Hospital in Kabul to maternity care for coronavirus-infected patients.
The Minister of Health Firuzuddin Firuz visited the Isteghlal Hospital on Saturday and instructed the hospital’s officials to prepare the maternity unit for the elderly female patients with the coronavirus.
The Minister of Health also called on the doctors of Isteghlal Hospital not to spare any effort to treat patients, especially the Coronavirus patients at this critical time.
This comes as the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has reached 555, which the highest number of cases are in Kabul after Herat provinces.
Afghanistan Foreign Ministry in a statement on Saturday appreciated Iran’s aid and supports for Afghan refugees who were infected to coronavirus.
All measures especially the recent order of the Iranian president for free treating of Afghan refugees in Iran’s public hospitals have assured Afghanistan government, the statement reads.
It also praised facilitating transit, providing health aid for vulnerable refugees.
Given to the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran and the world, Afghanistan government wishes success for Iranians in fighting this crisis, it noted.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the death toll from the coronavirus in the country reaches to 18 and the number of recovered patients reaches to 37.
The deputy of MoPH, Wahidullah Majroh in a press conference said that at least 34 cases have been reported in the country which include 8 in Herat, 8 in Kabul, 5 in Kandahar, 4 in Balkh, 4 in Nimroz, 2 in Wardak, one in Ghor, Badghis and Baghlan each.
According to Majroh, around 22 units of COVID-19 detection started activities in 22 areas of Kabul city for suspicious cases.
He once again called on people to implement the curfew and the Ministry of Public Health’s advises.
At least three confirmed cases of coronavirus have been registered in Bamyan province, local health officials said.
The Bamyan governor’s office in a press release said that the day-time curfew has been imposed in the province from today Saturday.
According to the press release, the curfew will be implemented for the next two weeks.
The department of Hajj and Religious Affairs was also assigned to talk to the religious scholars prevent religious gatherings and people’s participation at the mosques due to the prevention of the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says at least 34 new positive cases of coronavirus were registered in the country during the past 24 hours.
The deputy of MoPH, Wahidullah Majroh in a press conference said that the new infected include 8 cases in Herat, 8 in Kabul, 5 in Kandahar, 4 in Balkh, 4 in Nimroz, 2 in Wardak, and one in Ghor, Badghis and Baghlan each.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country reaches to 555 with 32 recovered and 15 deaths.
The European Union (EU) special envoy for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia says Afghanistan may be badly hit by the Coronavirus.
“It only starts. Delay to organise defense against COVIDー19 will kill more Afghans than war,” Kobia said in a tweet.
He emphasized that now is time for all Afghans to defend against Coronavirus, not to attack Afghans.
“Humanitarian ceasefire is imperative. No one can say later they didn’t know,” he added.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country reaches to 521.
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, India has cleared the first list of 13 countries to receive Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) supply.
According to reports, the list includes the United States, Spain, Germany, Bahrain, Brazil, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, and the Dominican Republic.
India will be sending a total of 14 million tablets and 13.5 MT of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) to these countries, reports add.
India is expected is sanction 50 lakh HCQ tablets in the second consignment to Brazil, Germany, and Canada, as per reports. In the first consignment, Brazil will receive 0.53 MT of API, while Germany will receive 1.5 MT API, Bangladesh will get 20 lakh tablets of HCQ, Nepal will get 10 lakh, Bhutan 2 lakh, Sri Lanka 10 lakh, Afghanistan 5 lakh, and Maldives 2 lakh.
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that is deemed to be useful in treatment of COVID-19.
MEA said the countries were shortlisted on first come, first serve basis and neighbouring countries were prioritised even then. India will also be exporting a total of 430 million paracetamol tablets.
US Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urged panel Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney to stop using Zoom video conferencing to conduct committee meetings after a hacker “zoom-bombed” a recent meeting three times.
As per Washington Examiner report, Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said a hacker gained access to a committee video meeting conducted by Maloney on the Zoom platform on April 3. The meeting featured John Sopko, the special inspector general overseeing Afghanistan reconstruction.
“In spite of the warnings by the FBI and media outlets, on April 3, 2020, you held a Zoom-hosted Member briefing on women’s rights in Afghanistan with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction,” Jordan wrote to Maloney, a New York Democrat. “During this important briefing, the session was ‘Zoom-bombed’ at least three times. The impact of hacking and malware on Member and staff devices is still being determined.”
Zoom has experienced exponential growth during the coronavirus outbreak, and Congress is struggling to conduct business outside of the Capitol. The House adjourned in March to avoid the threat of the coronavirus. Lawmakers have since been meeting through video calls and phone conference calls.
But the Zoom platform has been increasingly criticized for security breaches and “zoom-bombing” by hackers.
In addition, news reports indicate that some of Zoom’s encryption keys are outdated and come from China, and some Zoom calls made in the United States and Canada are routed through China.
Jordan pointed out the Senate sergeant-at-arms has warned Senate offices to avoid using Zoom for video conferencing.
U.S. bases in Afghanistan have closed some facilities and limited gatherings under a public health emergency declared in late March to control the spread of the coronavirus, military officials said Friday.
The emergency order from Gen. Scott Miller also allows commanders to impose quarantine or isolation, close buildings and restrict movement, NATO Resolute Support said in a statement. The order issued March 28 includes service members and others under U.S. and NATO authority.
“Under the (public health emergency), a civilian or contractor who refuses to comply with the rules or follow instructions from medical professionals could be sent home,” NATO Resolute Support spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a statement.
Measures by NATO Resolute Support to limit the spread of the virus resemble those announced in recent weeks at military bases worldwide.
U.S. and NATO dining facilities in Afghanistan are takeout only, with shortened hours for stores and restaurants run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, where troops could play video games or call their families, have been closed.
All indoor gyms at U.S. bases are closed, although personnel are encouraged to exercise at outdoor gyms, the Resolute Support statement said.
The U.S.-led mission to advise Afghanistan security forces is continuing using remote means, Resolute Support said.