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PublishDate: Monday, January 17, 2022 16:03

Afghanistan unable to detect omicron variant: health ministry

Public Health Ministry officials said Monday that Afghanistan’s health sector does not have the medical equipment needed to detect the newly mutated version of the coronavirus and as such, they have no idea how many people are infected with the omicron variant.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_While the case number in Afghanistan is lower compared to neighboring countries, the ministry of health says the latest data put the number of cases at 40. However, it’s not known how many have the variant.

“We have problems to identify the new variant of -19. We call on the international community to help us. They vowed that they will continues their help,” said Javid Hazher, spokesman for the ministry of public health.

Meanwhile, staff at the Afghan-Japan Hospital, the main COVID-19 treatment center in Kabul, said that between 15 and 20 patients seek treatment at the hospital daily, however they are not able to detect the variant.

“So far, the mutated type of COVID-19 has not been identified because we have not received the diagnostic device and we have asked the Ministry of Health to make the device available as soon as possible,” said Mohammad Anil, HR director of the hospital.

Members of the public meanwhile have called on the ministry to take special measures to help curb the spread of the virus – which is currently in its 4th wave in the country.

“It has been 15 days that my mother is sick and we are satisfied with the hospital but we ask people to not go outside without wearing masks and washing their hands,” said Mohammad Juma, one resident.

“People should wear masks, and this is Islamic law, when we pray and wash our hands, we do not get sick,” said Mohammad Arif, another resident.

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