Afghanistan to establish 3 more medical centres for Covid-19 patients

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Afghanistan’s health ministry has pledged to establish three more medical centres for Covid-19 patients in Kabul, as the capital recorded a fresh record rise in infections and the number of confirmed cases nationwide passed 11,000, Akhtar Mohammad Makoii reports from Herat.

Ferozuddin Feroz, the health minister, in a meeting with his deputies on Monday said three more centres will be established in Kabul for Covid-19 patients. Last week the ministry said that it had run out of hospital beds for treating patients with the disease in most parts of the country.

“The hospitals which had empty beds until 10 days ago and we were sending patients to, are packed, with no more beds. We should launch more hospital immediately” Wahid Majroh, deputy health minister said last week.

Health ministry said it had tested 1,095 more suspected patients, of whom 591 were positive, taking the total number of confirmed infections to 11,173. The official death toll reached 219 after one more patient died overnight. There have been 1,097 recoveries.

The ministry has pledged to increase number of daily tests; it has tested 31,718 suspected patients since the outbreak began.

Most of the new infections were reported in Kabul, where 390 cases came back positive out of 697 tests. Kabul is the country’s worst affected area in number of transmissions with 4,141 confirmed cases and 29 deaths.

The eastern province of Nangarhar and western province of Herat, which have both seen surges in the number of new infections in recent days, recorded 80 new cases combined. Herat is the country’s worst affected area for deaths, with 36 patients losing their lives to Covid-19.

Sunday was the first day of Eid in Afghanistan and concerns are high as despite the government mandated lockdown streets are crowded with people. According to a Guardian tally, Afghanistan recorded 3,920 new cases in the seven days before Eid – a record high.

Meanwhile, after recent violence, the country is seeing a rare period of calm, with the Taliban and Afghan government announcing a three-day Eid ceasefire. Local media reported that there were only two security incidents recorded on first day of Eid.