The Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan confirmed Saturday three more positive cases of Coronavirus in western Herat province.
Firozuddin Firoz, the Minister of Public Health, besides warning Afghans, urged people, media, scholars, and healthcare services to help fight against coronavirus.
President Ghani also, inaugurating the new year of the Afghan parliament, said that if the outbreak of coronavirus accelerated, the government would plan a national budget and present it to the parliament to pass it.
Moreover, Firozuddin Firoz warned that Herat was on alert, and the officials should not allow mass gatherings. He also underlined that 20,000 coronavirus test kits would be put to service in no time.
Abdul Qayom Rahimi, governor of Herat, insisted that precautions had been taken to stop the outbreak of the deadly virus and diagnose the infected people.
On the other hand, a member of the Herat Provincial Council talked about the insufficient budget given to fight the coronavirus. Dr. Mahdi Hadid said if a sufficient budget was not sent to Herat, the province would go into crisis.
Although some public property owners have been already warned not to open to visitors, local officials have been launching ceremonies and some offices are open to the crowd.
Wahidullah Mayar, the spokesman for the Ministry on Public Health told Ariana News that three of the suspected cases were tested positive of the virus.
He added the two of infections had recently returned from neighboring Iran – where the death toll for the novel coronavirus surpassed 120 people with a total of 4,747 infections – and the other had contracted with infected people.
It comes as the total cases of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, jumped to four in Afghanistan, while dozens of possible inflected cases are under-diagnosis.
Farmers stage protest over cancellation of budget for 1,450 agricultural projects – Herat
Dozens of farmers rallied in front of a Herat governor’s office to protest on the cancellation of nearly 1,500 agricultural projects in the province.
The farmers accuse the central government of “double standards” over implementing development projects.
They claimed that although the implementation of 1,450 agricultural projects has been started in the province in the past one month, the budget for these projects yet to be approved.
Meanwhile, officials at the Herat Chamber of Agriculture and Finance say the cancellation of the projects will cause huge economic losses to farmers.
Najibullah Rahmati, deputy director of the chamber, said that in the current situation, farmers need serious government support.
On the other hand, officials from the Herat Department of Agriculture acknowledged that the construction of more than 1,000 raisins farms and 420 onion warehouses in various districts of the province has been suspended due to the rejection of the ministry’s budget by the House of Representatives.
The Herat local government confirms the problems raised by the protesting farmers, a spokesman for the governor of Herat insisted that the governor himself had met with the protesting farmers and promised to pursue their demands in Kabul.
The total number of projects to be implemented in the country’s various provinces was about 15,000, but the ministry’s budget and amendment plan were twice rejected by the House of Representatives. The projects which were done 30%, has been stopped.
Coronavirus rapidly spreads around Herat due to poor precautions
Over 120 government employees have been exposed to the Coronavirus due to poor precautions in service offices in Herat. The infected employees are currently in-home quarantine.
They are fine, say public health officials. A research conducted by Ariana in Herat shows that the recklessness of government employees and visitors has led to the transmission of the virus.
The findings of the study show that 4 employees of the Department of Transportation, 3 employees of the Water Supply Department, 4 employees of the Municipality, 3 employees of the Tax Department, 5 employees of the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, 75 employees of the Public Health Department, 10 policemen, 4 employees of the Herat Ambulance, 3 provincial employees, including the head of Human Resources, 11 imams, and 8 employees of the Herat Customs Department, have been exposed to the virus.
Head of Herat’s Public Health Department Dr. Abdul Hakim Tamana, says the communicatory virus has hiked due to the irresponsible conduct of government employees and the citizens. “If this doesn’t change, it could exacerbate the Coronavirus disaster in the near future,” he added.
At the same time, a number of government officials in Herat underline that there are no sufficient health gears in the office to fight the virus.
Sharif Ahmad, a government employee, says they are given a number a mask and pair of gloves for a whole week, even though they deal with a large number of visitors every day.
“Although three of our employees have been infected by the virus, no action has been taken to disinfect the premises,” he said.
At the same time, Engineer Ratib Hamim, head of water supply authority, confirms that one of his employees has been infected with the virus.
Hamim says they are a service provider, and they have continued to work for the past two months despite the quarantine. “People who come to the office do not have masks and do not follow safety measures,” he says.
Ghulam Hazrat Mushfeq, the mayor of Herat, also confirms the transmission of the COVID19 in service administrations, adding that the process of disinfecting public places and some government offices is being carried out on daily basis.
Recently, in a press conference, the governor of Herat ordered the entire service to pay extra attention to healthcare guidelines and wear masks at all times.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammadi, head of Herat Ambulances, emphasizes that the number of people living with the coronavirus in Herat is still the rise.
“Most people are scared of being hospitalized at COVID19 wards – hiding that they have been contracted and/or going into home quarantine,” Mohammadi said.
He also confirms that over 120 employees of various government administrations across the city have been infected with the deadly Coronavirus.
It is noteworthy that Herat is the epicenter of the COVID19 in Afghanistan and was the first province exposed to the virus in late February 2020.
Ghor protests take six lives
The Afghan authorities must immediately order an independent and effective investigation into use of unnecessary and excessive force that led to the killing of four civilians, including a local journalist, and the injury of others outside the Governor’s office in Ghor. https://t.co/dCGaC4zil6
— Amnesty International South Asia (@amnestysasia) May 9, 2020
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