By: Lailuma Noori
The third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan has been followed by increasing the death toll of COVID-19 patients and positive cases of the virus. Concerns over the unprecedentedly increasing the positive cases of the virus and death toll caused by the pandemic have come amid lack of medical equipment and beds in COVID-19 hospitals in the country.
Reports from different parts of the country show that current healthcare system and medical equipment are insufficient to address the third wave of the coronavirus. These all shortcomings in health sector have resulted in increasing death caused by the pandemic.
The third wave of coronavirus in Afghanistan is currently in its peak. Afghanistan’s neighboring countries particularly Iran, India and Pakistan are seriously facing with fatalities caused by COVID-19 particularly the delta variant of the virus.
A spokesperson to Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the speed of infectious of the third wave of COVID-19 is more than the first and second waves of the pandemic, which has raised concerns among health organizations.
“Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health has launched public awareness programs in close cooperation with Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), Ministry of Hajj and Islamic Affairs, ATRA and municipalities so that the people get aware of risks of the pandemic in most remote areas of the country,” said Dastagir Nazari, a spokesperson of MoPH.
In attention to quarantine and not observing health instructions are considered as one of the serious challenges in the country.
According to public health experts, education and higher education institutions have been closed, while wedding halls, hotels, restaurants, sports clubs and supermarkets where coronavirus spreads rapidly are operating without any problems. No measures have been taken in this regard.
So far lockdown has not been implemented, but due to increasing positive cases of coronavirus in the country particularly big cities, lockdown might be imposed. For example, lockdown in cities, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels might be closed for a period of time although no such measures have been taken so far.
For reduction in infection for COVID-19 and fatalities caused by the coronavirus, it is necessary that Afghan citizens should seriously observe health instructions to avoid transmitting to each other in case somebody is infected for the virus.
Besides, Afghan citizens should make serious efforts to avoid commuting to cities and attending in gathering, wedding and engagement parties and prayer ceremonies, observe social distance and wear mask.
Currently, schools, universities and all learning, education and higher education institutions are closed to prevent from further spread of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday reported 1,557 new positive cases of COVID-19 out of 5,951 samples tested in the last 24 hours. The ministry also reported 91 deaths from the pandemic and 996 recoveries in the same period. The number of the total deaths is 4,962, according to figures by the ministry of public health.
Health officials last week said that the number of patients has increased and the ministry of public health is facing with the lack of oxygen at COVID-19 hospitals.