By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Afghanistan is running out of hospital beds as suspected cases of coronavirus surge, officials said on Saturday, warning “there is a disaster coming” in the country.
“Our (hospital) beds are almost full, we won’t have any more capacity very soon,” Health Minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani told reporters.
Officials said the number of cases were more than expected, including in the capital Kabul, the epicentre of the disease.
There is a disaster coming,” said Kabul governor Mohammad Yakub Haidary at a joint press conference with the health minister.
He said in Kabul alone there could be a million people infected with the deadly virus.
“We have reports of increasing suspected deaths, people burying dead bodies at night,” Haidary said.
“We fill 10-15 ambulances of dead people every day.”
The virus’s spread has surged amid a nationwide lockdown that residents have largely ignored, with many daily wage earners taking their chances with the disease rather than lose a day’s work.
But the minister said that from Sunday the authorities will strictly impose measures like wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing for the next three months in order to curb the spread of the virus.
582 new positive cases of COVID-19 from 761 samples tested in the last 24 hours were reported on Saturday.
Herat was on the top of the list with 193 new positive cases followed by Kabul (161), Nimroz (107), Balkh (46), Nangarhar (23), Laghman (15), Ghor (14), , Kandahar (7), Uruzgan (6), Kunar (5), Nuristan (2), Helmand (2), and Paktia (1).
The ministry reported 18 deaths in the last 24 hours in Kunar (7), Herat (5), Kabul (4), Nimroz (1), and Helmand (1) provinces.
Also, 68 recovered cases were reported by the ministry in Kabul (37), Logar (16), Maidan Wardak (10), Balkh (2), Paktia (2) and Herat (1).
The total number of known deaths from COVID-19 in the country is 327 and the total recovered cases are 1,830, according to the ministry.
So far, 45,900 samples have been tested and the total number of positive COVID-19 cases is 19,551, data by the ministry shows.
The number of active cases is 17,394 in Afghanistan, the data by the Public Health Ministry shows.