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COVID-19

WHO team in Wuhan to probe Coronavirus origin

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(Last Updated On: January 15, 2021)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a team of scientists to China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, to probe the origins of the Coronavirus, WHO confirmed.

The WHO stated in a tweet a 13-member team of expert has arrived in Wuhan on Thursday. 

“The international team of 13 scientists examining the origins of the virus that causes COVID19 arrived in Wuhan, China, today,” WHO tweeted.

The organization stated that the experts will begin their work immediately during the two weeks quarantine protocol for international travelers.

The WHO added that 13 team members have arrived in Wuhan, but two others have been tested positive for Covid-19 before leaving Singapore to China.

“Two scientists are still in Singapore completing tests for COVID-19. All team members had multiple negative PCR and antibody tests for COVID-19 in their home countries prior to traveling,” the organization said.

“They were tested again in #Singapore and were all negative for PCR. But two members tested positive for IgM antibodies. They are being retested for both IgM and IgG antibodies.”

In early 2020, the virus spread in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, and soon the virus spread worldwide.

China has sought to keep information about the spread of the virus under tight control. The country has also punished people for publishing information. The Chinese officials allowed the international team to Wuhan after months of diplomatic disputing.

In December last year, a Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in jail for reporting the spread of the virus from Wuhan. 

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge used by the Chinese government against the critics.

According to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, so far, 93,075,435 people around the world have been infected with the virus and 1,993,164 people have died of the virus.

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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