By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani spoke with district governors virtually here on Monday evening to discuss measures to contain COVID-19 and address their recommendations, demands and challenges, a statement said.
Abdul Matin Bek, IDLG General Director said majority of districts are now able to contact with the government leadership, particularly the president, and share their recommendations and challenges to result in better decision-making at government level, the statement from presidential press office said.
A number of district governors spoke and articulated their measures on fighting COVID-19 including mobilization of their communities, coordination with Ulama and other entities, public awareness efforts, establishing isolation centers, spraying areas and forming committees for controlling the prices of essential items, according to the statement.
Their challenges mainly revolved around insecurity, need for healthcare teams, isolation centers, ambulances, medical equipment, protective tools as well as food assistance to the people in need through a transparent mechanism and lack of access to telecommunication services in remote districts.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh was quoted in the statement, saying that all available resources and capacities must be used to fight the spread of the pandemic.
The first vice president instructed the district governors to assure the people in their districts that all trade routes to the country are open and they will not face shortage of food materials, the statement added.
Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish termed fighting corona a national issue that requires mobilization and cooperation of all groups and institutions at national level.
Mohammad Yosuf Ghazanfar, the President’s Special Representative on Economic Development, Trade and Poverty Reduction Affairs extended gratitude to the private sector for their assistance to the needy people and suggested that rickshaws can be turned to mini-ambulances in remote areas that would be more economical and ease carrying patients.
Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health stressed that the demands of district governors will be taken into considerationand said beside five operational laboratories, two more will be established in Paktia and Kunduz as well as two diagnoses centers in Badakhshan and Bamiyan in cooperation with Aga Khan Development Network.
President Ashraf Ghani said following overall assessments, the government continues its efforts to contain the coronavirus through categorizing it into five stages.
President Ghani said the government is willing to revisit and strengthen programs of the Public Health Ministry, adding that one special unit, working under provincial health directorate, will be established in each province to step up efforts on fighting corona.
The president stressed that an isolation center of corona patients with 20-50 beds should be established with local facilities and existing equipment in districts and instructed Public Health Ministry to pursue the issue.
He added as health programs are among government’s top priorities for the next year, more procurement authorities have been delegated to the minister of Public Health to address the existing challenges of people for the time being.
The president reiterated, “We need to join hands with each other and support our healthcare staff, who are indeed in the frontline of fight against the corona virus.”
“Our other program is to ensure social protection for vulnerable groups and delivering assistances to the people in need, who are economically affected by the spread of the corona pandemic,” added the president.
The president pledged to categorize the district governors’ recommendations and discuss them in government leadership meetings and to keep them posted of the progresses through IDLG.