By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The Ministry of Public Health on Saturday reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus in the country, bringing the total to 933.
The Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said that 13 people have recovered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total recoveries to 112.
The minister spoke at an opening ceremony at a COVID-19 center at Darulaman Palace, saying the center has 200 beds and will admit coronavirus patients with mild symptoms, in order to isolate them.
Minister Feroz said three coronavirus deaths happened in last 24 hours.
He added that the percentage of COVID-19 deaths in the country is 3.2%.
He said attention has been paid to Surobi district in Kabul, where reports have emerged of 30 deaths in a few days. He says a 20-bed center has been established in the district, adding that no death of the coronavirus has been reported in Surobi over the last few days.
The minister said a probe is underway to know whether the deaths in Surobi were due to the coronavirus.
According to him the government has provided $15 million to the Public Health Ministry, saying the pledged $100 million by the World Bank has not been provided yet.
Feroz said the government has begun efforts to establish isolation centers with a 10,000-bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in Kabul and aims to set up 100,000 beds in the country.
The country’s laboratories have the capacity to conduct 600 tests a day, according to the Ministry of Public Health, and so far the ministry has tested over 5,800 samples.
Meanwhile, the Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz on Saturday said the COVID-19 testing centers are faced with a shortage of RNA extraction supplies –the standard available test–which poses a new challenge in the effort to fight the coronavirus.
Other parts of the world are also faced with such a problem, the minister said, adding that there are 40,000 testing kits to gather samples, but a low number of RNA extraction kits, which are necessary for the lab to evaluate the samples.
“It is scarce globally,” Feroz said, referring to RNA extraction kits, adding “we have testing kits for 50,000 to 60,000 people but the RNA extraction kits are not enough.”
But the minister stated that talks are being held with Chinese and Japanese officials, about the issue.
“Lately, the World Health Organization has provided some assistance– part of which includes some testing kits being sent to Kandahar, Herat and Kabul, but along with this we are in search of alternative ways,” said Wahid Mayar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.
This comes as the Kabul lockdown was extended for another three weeks until May 9 as part of attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
The total number of cases of the coronavirus has reached 2,244,303 globally, according to John Hopkins University.
The United States is at the top with over 22,745 deaths and over 702,000 confirmed cases.