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PublishDate: Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:55

Taliban Awaits Global Assistance to Counter the COVID-19 Threat

Following the outbreak of the 4th wave of the coronavirus in the country, Jawid Hazhir, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health of the Taliban-led government, told Hasht-e Subh that 38 new cases had been registered in one day out of 829 this week.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, people have heard less about the Covid-19 casualties. Upon their arrival in , Taliban officials announced: “with the rise of the , the coronavirus has been eradicated in the country.” But that does not seem to be the case, and some countries around the world are shocked by the mutation of a new type of coronavirus. However, people are concerned that, in addition to poverty and unemployment, the fourth wave of the coronavirus will knock on their door as an unwanted guest.

Following the outbreak of the 4th wave of the coronavirus in the country, Jawid , spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health of the Taliban-led government, said that 38 new cases had been registered in one day out of 829 this week. Of these, 28 positive cases and, one death were registered in Kabul. Meanwhile, Kabul resident Nisar Ahmad Hooshmand says that although the country’s doctors and health staff are professionally trained, the lack of facilities, including the lack of diagnostic kits for omicrons, lack of oxygen, and medicine, is worrying.

Reporters are also concerned that no data has been available on the prevalence of Covid-19 in Afghanistan in the past five months. Merajuddin, a reporter and presenter of Ayna TV, said: “It has been five months since the daily publication of coronavirus statistics was stopped and, no one is aware of the current situation and possible dangers.”

“Although the daily statistics on the incidence of the coronavirus and the deaths caused by it will cause concern among the people, it is much more dangerous not to be informed about it,” he added.

In an interview with Hasht-e Subh, Morteza Samimi, a journalist from Balkh province, said that the lack of access to new statistics on the coronavirus in the country was worrying. According to him, secrecy can lead us to an undelightful fate. According to him, information about the coronavirus was also limited in Iran, which had fatal consequences.

However, reporters stressed that the Taliban government’s Ministry of Public Health should launch a specific program to publish daily coronavirus statistics to give people the right to accurate information.

Meanwhile, some doctors and medical staff are also worried about not treating patients due to the lack of facilities. The Taliban Ministry of Public Health is currently unable to determine the type of coronavirus.

Hussein Ali Mostamandyar, head of the Ministry of Public Health’s -coronavirus department, said that with the spread of omicrons in Pakistan and Iran in neighboring Afghanistan, the virus could spread to Afghanistan. He added that the means to deal with the virus were limited and that trained medical staff had been laid off since August. Mostamandyar also said that there is no human resources capacity in the country in the fight against Corona. For example, there are no omicron detectors in Kabul and Bamiyan provinces. “If the fourth wave of the coronavirus, especially the## Omicron type, spreads, there is no preparation to deal with it, and it could be another humanitarian catastrophe for Afghanistan, along with poverty and unemployment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mahboob Ahmadi, a doctor working in the field of coronavirus infection, says that he has left his job due to the lack of facilities to save the lives of medical staff. Ahmadi added that the safety of the medical staff, even though they were at the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus, was not observed because the facilities were very limited. As a former medical staff, he noted that the problem is not in the specialization of the medical staff, but following the recent developments and the bankruptcy of the country’s health system in terms of facilities, the success possibility against the fourth wave of Corona is lower.

Meanwhile, the Taliban government’s public health ministry is talking about preparations for the fourth wave; Preparations depend on the assistance of international organizations. Jawid Hazhir, a spokesman for the ministry,said that new statistics on the coronavirus would be released if needed. “We have about 40,000 diagnostic kits, but to confirm the nature of the coronavirus, especially its mutant type (omicron), we need sequencing machines, which, at the request of the ministry from the World Health Organization, “They will provide us with these facilities by the end of January.”

Hazhir also said that the Ministry of Public Health wants to reopen hospitals that have been shut down following the recent developments to fight the coronavirus, with the help of some institutions, including and the IOM. According to him, financial resources have been provided to support the activities of anti-coronavirus hospitals in Nangarhar, Herat, Helmand, and Kandahar provinces, as well as the -Japanese Hospital in Kabul, and at present, these hospitals do not have any problems in terms of facilities. The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health stated that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had promised to install oxygen generators in 10 provinces soon. However, he said that the ministry has increased the speed of vaccination by an average of 9,000 doses per day to 21,000 doses per day, and this trend continues in the provinces. According to Jawid Hazhir, in addition, vaccine doses have been distributed to health centers, adding that mobile teams have been vaccinated in mosques and villages in addition to schools and universities.

These fears and hopes are raised by the people and the Ministry of )Health, as the recent developments in the country, Afghanistan’s health system collapsed amid the outbreak of a new type of coronavirus in the world. Projects, as well as global aid to fight the coronavirus, have been stopped. Health staff either became unemployed or left the country.

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