Kabul: Concerns have been raised about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection after Eid al-Adha. Officials at the Ministry of Public Health said that they have launched awareness programs to curb the coronavirus pandemic. A number of Herat residents have also expressed concern about the rising graph of coronavirus in recent days in the province, calling for the implementation of preventive plans to curb the virus. In their view, COVID-19 deaths have increased dramatically in recent days.
Although some relatives of patients expressed concern about the lack of beds, medical facilities and oxygen supply at COVID-19 hospitals, the Ministry of Public Health assured that hospital beds will be increased if needed. Dastgir Nazari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, told Hashte Subh daily that the ministry had launched awareness programs in coordination with other government agencies to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to him, public awareness programs have been launched through media campaigns, village development councils and mosque pulpits.
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He added that the purpose of launching this program is to convey the message of the health sector to the people with the aim of observing hygienic and preventive measures on Eid al-Adha days so that people can avoid crowds, observe social distance and use masks when leaving home.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health warns that based on the ministry’s experience and statistics, the number of cases of coronavirus in Afghanistan has increased significantly in the days following Eid al-Fitr, and that Eid visits will provide more opportunities for the virus to spread.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health stated that hospital beds would be increased if needed and that new hospitals had been set up in recent months to treat coronavirus patients in a number of provinces, including Herat.
After the coronavirus hit Herat, two special hospitals were set up to treat COVID-19 patients, and as the disease subsided, one of them was closed; but a few months ago, it was reopened.
Meanwhile, Herat’s provincial public health directorate urged local residents to follow the below-mentioned points during Eid holidays including, limiting Eid celebration to messages through phones and internet, and avoid movement and picnic; offering Eid prayers in an open space, observing social distancing and wearing facemasks; avoiding contacts such as handshake and hugs; stopping livestock from moving in the vicinity of residential areas; avoiding touching livestock while purchasing for sacrifices and slaughtering should happen at a distance from residential area, among other rules.
Also, as Eid al-Adha approaches, the Ministry of Public Health warned of a resurgence of the coronavirus and urged people to avoid visiting public places in this situation. The Acting Minister of Public Health, Vahid Majrooh, told a news conference on Sunday, that although the coronavirus has been declining in some provinces, it is still a state of emergency. He stressed that the highest number of positive cases of coronavirus is currently recorded in Zabul, Takhar, Faryab, Herat, Farah, Khost, Paktika and Ghor provinces.
“Our evidence shows that, although the number of cases has decreased in a number of provinces, Covid-19 is still lurking,” said the acting Minister of Public Health. The Ministry of Public Health is concerned about the principles of prevention and health. “Even though we have crossed the peak, it is still possible to climb again.”
He said that the arrival of Eid al-Adha, the fifth wave of the coronavirus in Iran and the increase in positive cases in Pakistan, has increased the concern of the Ministry of Public Health. He called on people to avoid going to their friends’ houses during Eid and congratulate each other on Eid al-Adha through messages and cyberspace.
However, Majrooh warned that if the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health were not followed, the spread of the coronavirus would increase. “If you do not heed these recommendations, you will accelerate the spread of the virus based on scientific evidence,” he said.
This comes even as the Ministry of Public Health announced on Sunday that 887 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan during the past 24 hours. The ministry said in a statement on Sunday that with the registration of these cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has increased to 141,499.
In the past 24 hours, 66 people have died from the coronavirus and the death toll has risen to 6,213. In the past 24 hours, 966 people have recovered from the infection.