The EU-Delegation in Kabul announced additional support in the form of 35 million euros to tackle the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and mitigate its socioeconomic impacts in Afghanistan.
The EU said in a statement on Tuesday that since the start of the pandemic it has mobilised almost 147 million euros to address the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need.
“The pandemic has exacerbated an already grim situation in Afghanistan, creating even
bigger needs in a country for decades plagued by war.
“Together with partners and in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the EU’s contribution aims to support those who suffer the most from this crisis. The three projects launched today will contribute to this further,” said EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt.
The 35 million euros announced today will contribute to strengthening the response capacity of health systems, to test and treat patients, to improve infection prevention, to raise awareness and to reduce nutritional risks through three projects implemented by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and a consortium led by the Aga Khan Foundation.
“ As preparation for vaccine rollout signals new hope in Afghanistan’s fight against COVID19, continued investment in testing, surveillance, clinical care, protection of health workers and essential health services remains vital for containing the spread of the virus in addition to offering quality medical care,” said David Lai, Officer in Charge at the WHO.
The EU stated that import restrictions and widespread unemployment have worsened food insecurity, and through the support of the EU and its partners 300 000 children and their mothers will also receive community nutrition services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on the already weak health system and worsened underlying health and gender vulnerabilities. This generous EU funding will allow UNICEF to respond quickly to this secondary wave of challenges which profoundly affects the health and safety of children and women,” said Sheema Sen Gupta, Representative of UNICEF Afghanistan.
The projects implemented by UNICEF and the Aga Khan led consortium includes actions to mitigate women’s, children’s and teenager’s vulnerability to various forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence.
“With the support of the EU, the Aga Khan Foundation led consortium with Cordaid will
reach 8.4 million direct and indirect beneficiaries in 16 provinces,” said Sheherazade Hirji, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative.
293 new covid cases and 9 deaths reported in Afghanistan
On Thursday, the Ministry of Public Health reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 out of 2,185 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported nine deaths and 211 recoveries from COVID-19 in the same period.
The new cases were reported in Nangarhar (96), Kabul (88), Herat (3), Kandahar (31), Balkh (7), Takhar (1), Baghlan (6), Kunduz (2), Paktia (6), Parwan (2), Maidan Wardak (3), Badakhshan (2), Kapisa (6), Logar (1) Ghazni (4), Kunar (3), Laghman (4), Zabul (4), Ghor (12), Khost (7) and Paktika (5) provinces.
Deaths were reported in Kabul (2), Khost (2), Kandahar (1), Takhar (1), Paktia (1), Logar (1) and Zabul (1) provinces.
The ministry reported that the cumulative total of known COVID-19 cases is 61,455, the total number of reported deaths is 2,673, and the total number of recoveries is 53,961.
So far, 414,983 samples have been tested in government centers and there are 4,821 known active COVID-19 cases in the country, data by the ministry indicates.
This comes after Pakistan recently banned inbound pedestrian movement from neighboring Afghanistan and Iran in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
The ban will be effective from May 4 to May 20 and only Pakistani nationals and people with extreme emergency medical issues will be allowed to enter the Pakistan from both countries.
All outbound pedestrian movement will be allowed.
Border terminals between the three countries will also remain open throughout the week for trade and cargo purposes.
As COVID-19 rages in India, scientist warns further waves ‘inevitable’
India suspends IPL as COVID cases cross 20 million
India suspended its most popular sports tournament on Tuesday and the country’s opposition chief called for a nationwide lockdown as the number of coronavirus infections climbed past 20 million, a dismal milestone crossed only by the United States.
Cricket officials suspended the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL), after the country added 10 million cases in just over four months, versus the more than 10 months taken for the first 10 million, Reuters reported.
“These are difficult times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the IPL said in a statement.
With 3.45 million active cases, India recorded 357,229 new infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose 3,449 for a toll of 222,408, health ministry data showed.
Experts say actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher, however.
“The only way to stop the spread of corona now is a full lockdown…GOI’s inaction is killing many innocent people,” Gandhi, a Congress member of parliament, said on Twitter, referring to the government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is reluctant to impose a national lockdown for fear of the economic fallout, but several states have imposed social curbs, Reuters reported.
The impoverished eastern state of Bihar ordered a lockdown until May 15 to curb the virus, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Twitter. With more than 100,000 infections, its death toll is nearing 3,000, government figures show.
The cricket-obsessed nation’s halt to the IPL tournament was a result of the virus crisis, its chairman, Brijesh Patel, told Reuters. The tournament, with an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion, was being played without spectators to a huge television audience this year but has been severely criticized for continuing at a time when the country’s healthcare system is on the brink of a collapse.
The surge of the highly infectious Indian variant has swamped the health system and depleted supplies of life-saving oxygen, while sufferers have died in ambulances and car parks outside hospitals.
Rows of funeral pyres set up in parks and other open spaces are being used to cremate the overflow of corpses.
Modi has been criticized for not moving sooner to limit the latest wave of infections and for letting millions of largely unmasked people attend religious festivals and crowded political rallies during March and April.
But a glimmer of hope surfaced in comments on Monday by a health ministry official who said infections in some regions were plateauing, Reuters reported.
Government modelling points to a peak by Wednesday, a few days earlier than a previous estimate, since the virus has spread faster than expected.
India’s surge has coincided with a dramatic drop in vaccinations, hit by problems with supplies and delivery.
At least three states, including Maharashtra, the richest and home to the commercial capital of Mumbai, reported scarcity of vaccines, shutting down some vaccination centres.
On Monday the state had injected 79,491 doses, down from a record 534,372 a week ago.
In Modi’s adjoining home state of Gujarat, the three largest cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara limited vaccines to those aged between 18 and 44, officials said.
International community calls on Taliban to stop spring offensive
Another two B-52 bombers arrive in region to protect US troops
Afghan security forces able to defend the country on their own: MPs
Taliban capture key dam in Kandahar province
China says its rocket debris unlikely to cause any harm
Britain’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, dies aged 99
Gun salutes planned across UK to mark the death of Prince Phillip
U.S. imposes wide array of sanctions on Russia for ‘malign’ actions
Iran’s Zarif blames Israel for Natanz incident, vows revenge
Russia ask 10 US diplomats to leave in retaliation against Washington
Tahawol: intensifying war in Afghanistan discussed
Tawahol: Foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan discussed
Zerbena: Economic challenges after withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan
Sola: Conflicts intensified as peace efforts are underway
Morning News Show: Third wave of COVID-19 discussed
Latest News5 days ago
US Forces hand over Helmand military base
Latest News4 days ago
Hillary Clinton warns of ‘huge consequences’ once troops withdraw
World4 days ago
Bill and Melinda Gates to divorce, but charitable foundation to remain intact
Sport4 days ago
IPL reschedules match after 2 players test positive for COVID
Latest News4 days ago
Taliban tunnel their way into army base in Farah province
Latest News5 days ago
Police bust gang trying to smuggle seven tonnes of hashish into Spain
World4 days ago
Heeding complaints, Biden lifts refugee cap to 62,500
Latest News4 days ago
Biden marks 10th anniversary of Osama bin Laden raid