By: Lailuma Noori
Increasing positive cases of COVID-19 has raised concerns in Afghanistan. Sources in Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) have warned of crisis in connection with increasing coronavirus patients in COVID-19 hospitals particularly the Afghan-Japan hospital in Kabul.
With indifference of the people in connection with the pandemic, the third wave of the virus will face the health sector with increasing challenges. Currently, nearly results of 30 percent of individuals testing for COVID-19 are positive. Besides, more Afghans without referring to COVID-19 hospitals have been infected to the virus.
According to officials the ministry of public health, 80 percent of those infected to COVID-19 have not symptoms and those who have spent the disease can also transmit the virus to others. Although the Afghan-Japan with having 150 beds is full, MoPH has created new COVID-19 hospitals in various parts of Kabul as Qasaba, Arzan Qimat and Dasht-e-Barchi for possible COVID-19 crisis ahead.
“The price of one oxygen’s capsule has recently jumped from 400 – 1,400 AFG. During to increasing positive cases of COVID-19, all education and higher education centers have been ordered to be closed for two weeks, while wedding salons, sports clubs, public pools which are considered as main places for spreading the virus are operating,” said Osman Tahiri, a spokesperson to the ministry of public health.
He said that no particular measures have been taken against complete lockdown in the country.
Related to shortage of oxygen, the MoPH spokesperson said that UNICEF and Aga Khan Foundation have taken responsibility for providing oxygen to COVID-19 hospitals.
Meanwhile, acting minister of public health has said that UNICEF has not been able to abide by the commitment it has made towards providing oxygen to COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
“UNICEF has not provided oxygen to COVID-19 hospitals, but the organization has once again promised to do provide oxygen in coming months,” said Waheed Majroh, acting minister of public health.
He added that United Arab Emirates by assisting a system producing oxygen to the Afghan-Japan hospital has filled the gap, saying that the ministry of public health has not faced with continued shortage of oxygen so far. He further said that currently the private sector was providing oxygen for COVID-19 hospitals.
With getting the COVID-19 situation worse in the country, Afghan health experts believe that public awareness in connection with coronavirus in the Afghanistan needs to be assessed.
“The Indian variant of COVID-19 is concerning and that the personal issues should be considered to control the situation,” said Nawroz Haqmal, a public health expert.
He said that the main reason of death among patients has not been corona, stressing that some other chronic diseases as cardiovascular-related diseases, sugar and cancer have caused increasing mortalities among COVID-19 patients. Based on prediction of the ministry of public health, the third wave of the coronavirus outbreak will reach its peak in two weeks in case the people observe preventive and health instructions, or the period will get longer. Wearing mask, observing distance, avoid going to crowdy places and washing hands are considered as the main instruction for prevention of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is worth mentioning that the current cumulative total of known COVID-19 cases is 75,144, the total number of reported deaths is 3,034, and the total number of recoveries is 57,963. So far, 480,621 samples have been tested in government centers and there are 14,079 known active COVID-19 cases in the country.