Afghanistan stares at tough month ahead as Covid wave intensifies

Kabul, Jun 9 (EFE).- The Afghan health ministry on Wednesday warned that the country could face its “worst” month ahead as Covid-19 cases and deaths were rising every day amid the third wave of the pandemic.

“In the coming four weeks we are preparing for the worst situation,” acting health minister Wahid Majroh said in a press conference in Kabul.

Afghanistan registered its highest every daily caseload of 1,843 over the past 24 hours, out of 5,044 tests carried out within the same period. The country has so far recorded 85,893 infections.

At least 51 patients died due to the disease in this period according to the ministry, taking the total number of deaths to 3,356.

One of the major challenges for the authorities in the fight against Covid-19 is the lack of medical oxygen in government hospitals, as the seven oxygen factories in the country currently in operation are unable to meet the high demand.

Majroh said the ministry was trying to install oxygen concentrators in some of the hospitals to help bridge the gap.

However, he warned that this was not a definitive solution to the crisis and urged citizens to observe preventive measures, adding that otherwise the “backbone of the Afghan health system” could break due to “carelessness.”

“We need your help,” he said in an appeal to back the healthcare system, recalling that at times angry relatives of Covid-19 patients had beaten up and abused doctors in hospitals after the patients’ deaths.

As part of efforts to limit the rapid Covid surge, on Saturday the government had ordered the closure of all educational institutions for at least two weeks and shut down wedding halls for 10 days.

Government employees older than 55 and pregnant women have been advised to work from home.

Majroh said that wearing a face-mask in public spaces was mandatory and all gatherings including political, social and academic have been banned at least until next week. EFE


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