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COVID-19

Education centers in Afghanistan closed amid surge in COVID-19 cases

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2021)

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of Afghanistan on Saturday announced that schools and universities in 16 provinces will remain closed for two weeks to contain the spread of the third wave of COVID-19.

The Ministry said that public and private schools, universities, and training centers will remain closed in Kabul, Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Logar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Parwan, Maidan Wardak, Panjshir, Balkh, Laghman, Badakhshan, Kapisa, Kunduz, and Nimroz provinces.

This comes as 20 people have died of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours in the country, the Ministry stated.

According to the Ministry’s daily statistics, 654 new infections have been recorded during this period.

The total number of people infected people with the coronavirus has risen to 70761 of which 2919 have died and another 57281 have been recovered.

Meanwhile, in a joint press conference the ministry of health, higher education, and ministry of education called on the people to adhere to the health instructions.

Majroh warned that if people do not cooperate, “we have to change all the houses to beds (isolation ward) and all the people will be affected by the virus,” said Wahid Majroh, Health Minister.

“We can manage to deal with the third wave of coronavirus if people give a hand,” he said.

Acting Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi hopes the situation gets better in the next two weeks and that “we will be able to resume schools and students and teachers in provinces where the education process is normal are required to follow the health instructions recommended by the Health Ministry.”

Abas Basir, Minister of Higher Education stated that following the decision of the Committee to Fight Coronavirus, all public and private universities in 16 provinces of the country have been closed for two weeks.

COVID-19

Officials warn of possible 4th wave of COVID-19 in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

Afghanistan’s health officials on Tuesday warned of a possible 4th wave of COVID-19 in the county, adding that treatment possibilities have been minimized recently.

The Afghan-Japan hospital in Afghanistan, which was allocated for Coronavirus patients, has received 35 patients from Ghazni and Daikundi provinces recently, said officials.

“As we see the situation it [Coronavirus cases] increases day by day. We  registered samples, and now it has increased by 20%. Most patients are testing positive for Coronavirus,” said Zalmay Rashteen, head of the hospital.

Doctors at the Afghan-Japan hospital say that they face a serious shortage of money to stock and equip hospitals.

The doctors added they have not received their salaries for three months.

Doctors say that last year, during the 3rd wave of COVID-19, the virus spread and had many casualties.

They emphasize that a  4th wave would be difficult to contain, said Sahar, a doctor at the hospital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) meanwhile said that they had recorded 155,891 cases of COVID-19 in Afghanistan since the start of the pandemic.

The organization added that 7,249 out of 155,891 have died of the virus in Afghanistan.

“There is no medical equipment such as drugs and other (necessities) to fight the 4th wave of COVID-19 in Afghanistan,” said Qayamuddin, a doctor at the hospital.

This comes after the WHO said that 1.6 million doses of the vaccine in Afghanistan will expire if it is not used.

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COVID-19

China urges faster COVID-19 testing amid latest outbreak

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(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

China is demanding faster and more accessible COVID-19 testing services in its latest effort to reinforce a zero-tolerance policy against the virus, even when cities have already scrambled to test millions in just a few days amid outbreaks.

Frequent testing, and sometimes mass testing, is standard practice in China’s containment of domestically transmitted outbreaks in the past year, but health authorities say testing services remain unsatisfactory in parts of China amid flare-ups, Reuters reported.

“Small clusters and sporadic infections have occurred in some areas, exposing problems such as the unreasonable locations of nucleic acid testing agencies, inconvenient services and delays in the returning of results,” state media reported on Tuesday, citing the National Health Commission (NHC).

China is facing a new wave of infections involving nearly 200 locally transmitted symptomatic cases in 12 provincial areas since October 17. Many of the infected were from remote parts of northwest China without as much health resources as major cities.

NHC said testing agencies should provide 24-hour services to the public and strive to have results within six hours for those who volunteer to be tested, according to state media reports.

NHC said in September that cities with over 5 million people should have the capacity to test everyone within three days.

Since the new coronavirus was found in late 2019, mainland China has reported 96,840 confirmed cases with symptoms, including both local and imported infections, with fatalities totalling 4,636.

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China says 76% of population fully vaccinated against COVID-19

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2021)

China has given complete doses of COVID-19 vaccines to about 75.6% of its population as of Oct. 23, National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said on Sunday.

Some 1.068 billion people have now been inoculated with the required dosages, out of a population of 1.412 billion, Mi told a news briefing.

The country administered 2.245 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Saturday, official data showed.

China is giving booster shots to adults whose last dose was at least six months earlier, with priority groups including essential workers, older people and those with weaker immune systems, Reuters reported.

Data showed antibodies elicited by vaccines, including the most-used shots from Sinovac and Sinopharm, declined within months.

Wang Huaqing, chief expert for the immunization program at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said China would not keep giving people booster shots after booster shots.

“We hope that an ideal vaccine works well with the full doses of immunization,” Wang told the briefing.

“Even if it needs to be strengthened later, the number of boosters is limited,” Wang said. “We hope in the future there will be better vaccines and better vaccination procedures to achieve solid protection among the public.”

China has largely contained the virus in most areas, and the sporadic local outbreaks are tiny compared with those seen in other countries.

However, Mi cautioned on Sunday there is increasing risk that China’s latest outbreak, involving over 100 infections in a week across 11 provincial areas, will spread further.

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