Coronavirus Updates in Afghanistan (14); Death Toll Reaches 23

The National Procurement Authority (APA) says it has purchased 170 ambulances and 70 vehicles to transport the bodies of victims of the coronavirus related to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

The National Procurement Office said in a press release on Tuesday that the second meeting of the National Procurement Commission, chaired by President Ashraf Ghani Sham, was held on Monday evening.

According to the press release, 39 procurement issues were reviewed during the meeting, of which 33 which worth more than 9.5 billion AFN have approved.

Preparing Protective Equipment

During the opening of the first Mask factory in Kabul, the Minister of Health said that cemeteries, transportation vehicles and other related equipment have been considered for the victims of the coronavirus.

The N-95 facial mask manufacturing factory has launched for the first time in Kabul as the country’s fragile health system struggles in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Public Health, Firuzuddin Firuz at the opening ceremony of the factory declared that the factory will produce 500,000 packages of protective kits with a capacity of 10,000 packages per day, and each package of protective kits will be sold for five dollars based on a contractual framework.

Firooz cited that the factory’s protective kits would comply with international standards which will meet part of Afghanistan’s needs, and that nearly 50 million AFN would be saved.

The kits produced in the factory will be distributed to health workers, ambulance workers and police forces who are at the forefront of the fight against corona.

Infection of Over 700 People

The Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that another 49 people have been infected with the coronavirus during the past 24 hours.

MoPH stated that the new cases include 18 in Kabul, 15 in Kandahar, 6 in Balkh, 4 in Herat, 4 in Ghazni and 2 in Nangarhar.

With the registration of the new cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in the country has reached 714, of which 23 have died and 40 have recovered so far, the ministry added.

Meanwhile, Mir Rahman Rahmani, the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, is giving his private hospital in Kabul to the Ministry of Public Health to fight the coronavirus.

According to the Presidential Palace, Mr. Rahmani met with President Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening and the two sides discussed the political situation, how to fight the coronavirus and the Afghan peace process.

Arg noted that Mr. Rahmani has handed over a well-equipped hospital in Kabul to MoPH to help fight against the coronavirus.

Other Efforts

Currently, all government authorities are trying to prevent the spread of the virus by preventing people from movement and implementation of the day-time curfew.

In the latest case of movement restrictions in the provinces, local officials in Kandahar province say the provincial committee for the fight against the coronavirus has decided to announce quarantine in the city of Kandahar.

While the highest number of coronavirus cases has been recorded in Kandahar in the past two days, the provincial governor’s press office said in a statement that the province’s anti-coronavirus committee has decided that the city will enter into quarantine by tomorrow Wednesday.

According to the decision, only health centers, pharmacies and bakeries will be open during this period, and others will not be allowed to work in Kandahar on a daily basis.

However, with the registration of 15 new cases, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Kandahar has risen to 90.

Also in Kabul, the Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said on Tuesday that those restaurants that provide services online and by motorcycle to Kabul residents are exempt from movement restrictions.

At the same time, Abdullah Abdullah has expressed concern over the health conditions of Maliha Hasan and Humaira Haqmal, saying he has reviewed the letter of the Women’s Justice Committee.

Abdullah wrote on his Facebook page: “I understand the concerns of the members of the Women’s Justice Committee about the health conditions of the two detainees, Maliha Hassan and Humaira Haqmal. They have an incurable disease and are more vulnerable to coronavirus.”

He called on the judicial institutions to reconsider the cases and called on the authorities to take the necessary legal measures.

Zackaria Noori contributed reporting.

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