COVID-19: Afghan Health Ministry ‘Lacks Capacity’, has Reached Limit of Tests

Afghanistan’s Acting Health Minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani said that COVID-19 testing was no longer within the ministry’s capacity as the government ran out of laboratory testing centres.

Osmani said “clinical testing” would now be done and a medical worker will determine whether people with symptoms have COVID-19.

This will allow private clinics and hospitals to conduct the testing of COVID-19 samples.

“At present, we have laboratories in 11 provinces, and we plan to increase the testing services in all 34 provinces, but this needs time which is out of the control of the Ministry,” he said.

Earlier, the health ministry had admitted it was flooded with samples and they were only able to get through about 10% of them during a day.

The ministry had vowed to increase the testing capacity to 5,000 tests a day but has never met targets.

Osmani said they were still waiting for medical equipment to come in which had been pledged by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Latest figures indicate a total over 24,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country with 556 new cases reported in the day.

Osmani added that any patient exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 would be treated positive.

“The new decision that we have made is that any patient that visits health centres with clinical symptoms, they will be recognized as a Coronavirus patient and will be admitted for treatment.”

Hajj pilgrimage affected

The Hajj and Religious Affairs Ministry announced there were no plans for this year’s proposed Hajj pilgrimage due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s highest religious institution said the Saudi government had not shared any contingency plans so far, which means the annual August pilgrimage is halted till further information.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Sunday, June 14 2020