Ministry of Health Reports 1,198 New Cases of COVID-19

Kabul: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday reported 1,198 new positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the last 24 hours.

The ministry also reported 89 deaths and 1,613 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

The total number of cases now stand at 139,051, while the number of reported deaths is 6,072.

The Ministry of Health has called on Afghan citizens to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Shafiq Mirzazada, Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Public Health, spoke via video conference with provincial health directors and representatives of healthcare providers about the process of accelerating and implementing the coronavirus vaccination drive.

At this meeting, the Deputy Minister expressed his gratitude and appreciation for healthcare workers who are at the service of their compatriots in the most difficult days, and called on health officials to urge the Ministry of Health to speed up the coronavirus vaccine implementation process and prevent vaccine wastage.

In addition, Mirzazada spoke about addressing the needs of provinces that need the coronavirus vaccine, continuing to administer daily vaccines normally, not depriving women of the vaccine implementation process, setting up monitoring committees in the center and provinces, and creating teams. He spoke to participants about the implementation of the coronavirus vaccination drive during Eid and gave the necessary instructions to the authorities.

On the other hand, the heads of public health of the provinces and the representatives of the institutions implementing health services presented their ideas and suggestions in the cases mentioned and promised more cooperation under the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health.

Also, as per the WHO’s strategic situation report for July 15, the number of cases remain at alarming levels over the post-Eid al-Fitr period in Afghanistan. “Overseas testing has confirmed the presence of the variants in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan lacks in-country facilities to test for the Delta variant, concern over the variant’s spread remains high. Afghanistan now has a daily test-positivity rate of 48 per cent as of 14 July, suggesting overall under-testing of potential cases. With a testing capacity of 8,700 tests per day, 35 laboratories are now operating in and there are plans to establish 9 more by the end of August. Due to limited public health resources, lack of people coming forward for testing, as well as the absence of a national death register, confirmed cases of and deaths from COVID-19 are likely to be under-reported overall in Afghanistan,” stated the WHO.

WHO warns that despite the new surge, widespread complacency and failure to follow public health advice in Afghanistan is creating grave risks in the community with people generally not observing physical distancing or mask-wearing protocols. There is particular concern about the upcoming Eid al-Adha period and the need to promote personal protection measures during this holiday.

Given the rapid rise in cases, the Government of Afghanistan has extended closure of all schools, universities and training courses that started on 29 May. The school closure will be in effect across 16 provinces, including Kabul. Most government offices have moved to essential staff because of the outbreak. The Government has also announced other preventative measures across these 16 provinces, including the banning of mass gatherings and weddings. On vaccination, since 8 March, Afghanistan has received 3,068,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines – 468,000 from the COVAX facility, 500,000 directly from the Government of India, 700,000 from the government of the People’s Republic of China and 1,400,000 from USA. Some 2,192,000 additional doses of vaccines are expected to arrive to the country this month as well.

15 / July 2021
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