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COVID-19

Plasma Therapy proves effective in Covid-19 patients – Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 15, 2020)

On doctors’ note, the implementation of blood plasma has helped several patients in the intensive care unit to go to recovery.

In Balkh, the process of therapizing patients with blood plasma continues voluntarily, but at a larger scale, the Ministry of Public Health says that they are collecting the blood of recovered patients, which means it is still on a smaller scale.

The blood plasma of those recovering from the Coronavirus is a promising solution to cure patients suffering from Covid-19.

On a daily basis in Balkh, about 10 patients had blood plasma of recovered patients injected, and the results have been positive.

Doctors say patients who would not survive in the hospital’s intensive care unit without oxygen were both out of serious care and started recovering after a blood plasma therapy.

Mohammad Alem Raziqi, a doctor at Bo Ali Sina Hospital in Balkh, said, “We applied two hundred ccs of plasma to the patient. After 24 hours, his blood pressure became normal and after 72 hours, he didn’t need aid oxygen. Now the patient is fine.”

The implementation of blood plasma continued on patients in critical condition only in Balkh province; this procedure is expected to reduce the fatality rate from the Coronavirus.

Nizamuddin Jalil, the head of the Balkh Public Health Department, said, “The plan is to therapize more than ten people with blood plasma. We hope this method reduces the death toll from Covid-19.”

Blood plasma is the fluid part of the blood that contains antibodies in recovered individuals that can destroy the Coronavirus.

But there can be side effects too, such as infecting healthy cells inside the body with the Coronavirus, causing allergies in the patient, and even killing certain cells.

Mohammad Nabil Faqiryar, head of the general ward at Herat District Hospital, says those with heart or respiratory problems, and/or who are either overweight or aged, may stand if, for example, they are given 500 milliliters of blood plasma.

The Ministry of Health says that the scale of plasma therapy for patients with the virus in Afghanistan is still low.

Shafiqullah Shahim, deputy minister of health, said, “Blood plasma levels are very low in patients with Covid-19. The Ministry of Public Health is trying to collect blood.”

In several other countries, plasma therapy has been used to treat Covid-19 patients, which has been reportedly effective.

On the other hand, people’s dissatisfaction with how to provide health services to fight the Coronavirus has increased.

A number of citizens criticize the way the hospitals provide health services to fight the virus.

But the Ministry of Public Health assures that health care services will improve.

In the past 24 hours, the ministry has examined 1,557 suspected samples, of which 761 were tested positive.

Meanwhile, seven people infected with the coronavirus have died and another 365 have been cured.

The number of people infected with the Coronavirus in Afghanistan has now reached 25,527 confirmed cases.

COVID-19

Turkmenistan president sends COVID-19 tests to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 6, 2020)

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the President of neighboring Turkmenistan has ordered the country’s ministry of health to send COVID-19 test kits as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. 

Turkmen TV reported the president also ordered the Foreign Ministry to deliver the tests to Afghanistan. 

This comes after repeated reports that point towards the limited testing facilities and the fragile health system in the country. 

Just this week, the World Bank fast-tracked additional grants to Afghanistan to help desperate families and ensure food security. 

On Wednesday however, the Ministry of Public Health released details of an official survey conducted with the help of the World Health Organization that found the coronavirus has likely infected a third of the country’s population –  roughly 10 million people.

The Afghan health ministry released the estimates Wednesday, saying they are based on antibody tests on about 9,500 people in 34 provinces. 

Acting Health Minister, Ahmad Jawad Osmani told a news conference in Kabul the survey showed 31.5 percent of Afghanistan’s population has been infected by COVID-19.

Osmani noted that 53 percent of Kabul’s nearly five million residents had contracted the coronavirus.

Officially, the number of cases reported on Thursday stood at just 36,937. 

Last month, the International Federation of Red Cross warned: “Afghanistan is on the edge of potential health, social and economic catastrophes caused by COVID-19 as the disease places a crippling burden on one of the 10 most fragile states in the world.” 

“The real toll of the pandemic on the Afghan population is expected to be much higher and remains under-reported due to limited testing and weak health systems,” it added.

 

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COVID-19

Survey finds at least 10 million Afghans infected with COVID-19

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health said Wednesday that 10 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the country.

Addressing a press conference, acting Health Minister Jawad Osmani said according to a survey conducted across the country, 31.5 percent of Afghans – which is about 10 million people – have contracted the Coronavirus.

He said the survey had been based on antibody tests on people across the country, with technical support from the World Health Organisation.

Osmani said that 11,500 people from 34 provinces participated in the survey.

The highest infection rate was in Kabul where more than half of the city’s five million population was thought to have been infected.

Osmani said 37 percent of the population in cities and 27 percent of the population in villages have been infected with the virus.

“The studies divided 34 provinces of the country into nine zones, of which Kabul as a zone – 53 percent of its total population is affected by the Coronavirus.

He said 42.9 percent of the total population in eastern provinces had been infected along with 36.3 percent of the population in central provinces, 34.1 percent in the north and 32.4 percent of the total population in northeastern provinces.

He also said the survey found that 25.3 percent of children had contracted the virus. That was 24.2 percent of all boys in the country and 26.8 percent of all girls.

With the adult population, 35.2 percent had contracted the virus. This meant 33.9 percent of all men in the country had contracted COVID-19 and 37.2 percent of all women had been infected.

But the country of around 32 million people has only limited testing capacity and has an official recorded number of cases of just under 37,000.

Earlier Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Health announced its daily updates and said 36,782 people had so far tested positive for COVID-19.

The ministry stated that so far 1,288 people had died of the virus while 25,556 had recovered.

The ministry meanwhile warned people of a second wave of the pandemic, asking the public to fully adhere to precautionary measures to prevent the continued spread of the virus.

“A second wave of the infection is happening everywhere in the world and we cannot be an exception. We will use the findings of this survey to better prepare ourselves for a possible second wave,” Osmani said.

More than 18 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus since it first emerged in China late last year.

The virus entered Afghanistan in February as thousands of migrants returned from neighbouring Iran, which at the time was the region’s worst-hit nation for the virus.

Since then Afghanistan has been ravaged by COVID-19.

A survey on the mortality rate of coronavirus in Afghanistan is now under way.

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COVID-19

World Bank approves COVID-19 aid package of $380m for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

The World Bank has approved a financial package of $380 million to help Afghanistan cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Afghan families. 

The money will go towards helping households, support critical food supply chains, and provide emergency support to farmers.

The aid package, from dozens of donors, is made up of two grants that will go towards specific projects. 

“The living conditions of millions of Afghan families have severely worsened due to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. 

“These grants will help the Government of Afghanistan address the urgent needs of most households and ensure that Afghan farmers can continue to produce food at a time when imports and exports are severely disrupted. This will extend economic opportunities and create jobs for the wider rural population,” he said.

A $280 million grant will fund the COVID-19 Relief Effort for Afghan Communities and Households (REACH) Project. 

This project will benefit some 2.9 million households across Afghanistan. 

The second grant, of $100 million, will fund the Emergency Agriculture and Food Supply Project (EATS). 

The project aims to improve food security by increasing local food production and strengthening critical commercial food supply chains, especially wheat as the staple crop for over 70 percent of the Afghan population. 

The project will also provide short-term employment in rural areas in the development of productive assets such as irrigation schemes. 

In rural areas, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted farming, leaving Afghan farmers unable to sow their crops on time, while in urban areas food prices are rising with shortages of food supply becoming more urgent. 

According to the World Bank,  the COVID-19 Relief Effort for Afghan Communities and Households Project will be implemented through the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), and the Kabul Municipality. 

 

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