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WHO pledges $112 million for COVID vaccines

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(Last Updated On: January 26, 2021)

The World Health Organization’s COVAX programme has pledged $112 million for COVID-19 vaccines to reach 20 percent of Afghanistan’s population, an Afghan health official said on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists, the deputy health minister, Waheed Majroh, said it would take about six months to get the vaccines.

The COVAX programme is a global scheme to vaccinate people in poor and middle income countries against the coronavirus and aims to deliver at least two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021 to cover 20 percent of the most vulnerable people in 91 poor and middle-income countries.

Reuters reported that aside from COVAX, the country has also received a pledge of 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India.

Dr Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, head of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation at Afghanistan’s health ministry told Reuters that the “AstraZeneca brand which is manufactured in India will arrive soon in Afghanistan.”

Nazari said government was only concerned about the WHO approval of the vaccine and that the pre-qualification process has already started.

Afghanistan has registered a total of 54,854 infections and 2,390 deaths – but experts say the actual numbers are much higher and are underreported due to low testing and limited access to medical facilities in the war torn country.

COVID-19

Afghanistan records 93 deaths from COVID-19 in Last 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 20, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said Sunday that 93 people have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours across the country.

The ministry said that 1,927 new positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded, while 526 others recovered in the same period.

So far, 103,921 people have been infected with the virus out of which 4,215 died of the virus.

This comes as hospitals in Kabul face a shortage of oxygen supplies as the country is dealing with the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kabul citizens said that the price of one oxygen cylinder has increased to up to 30,000 AFN ($386) from 500 AFN ($6.4) as demand for the oxygen mounts.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Wahid Majrooh, Acting MoPH Minister, however, stated that the ministry has addressed the issue at the public hospitals.

 “In all COVID-19 hospitals Oxygen production plants are activated, and provide the necessary oxygen for the hospitals,” added Majrooh.

The acting minister added vaccination campaign is underway and that 450, 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would arrive in Kabul in July.

He also called on people to adhere to precaution measures in order to contain the spread of the virus.

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COVID-19

92 people die of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 19, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said on Saturday that 92 people have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours across the country.

The ministry said that 1,384 new cases of COVID-19 out of 4,389 tested were reported in the mentioned time.

According to the ministry, 497 others recovered from COVID-19 in this time.

The health ministry said that with the new cases, the total now stands at 101,906 and the death toll is 4,122.

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COVID-19

U.S. requires embassy staff in Afghanistan to telework amid COVID-19 outbreak

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2021)

Staff in the U.S. embassy in Kabul are being required to telework, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday, citing a “significant outbreak of COVID-19” that has sickened officials and killed one local embassy staffer.

The embassy was taking steps to ensure safety of staff by “requiring all staff to telework and to adhere to physical distancing, masking requirements and other applicable regulations,” Price said.

Price declined to say how many embassy staff had been infected, but said 95% of the cases at the embassy were individuals who were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated against the virus.

“We are saddened by the deaths of many valiant Afghans who’ve been sickened by this pandemic and we in fact grieve the passing of a local embassy staff member,” Price said, adding normal embassy operations would resume when “the chain of transmission has been broken.”

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