At the Start of the Cold Season, Ministry of Health is Concerned about the Deterioration of the ‘Corona’ Situation

As the winter season draws near, the coronavirus infection rate has begun to increase in recent days. Although the Ministry of Public Health describes the situation as “good”, it is likely that with the arrival of the cold season and increased air pollution, the number of Covid-19 patients will increase and the situation of Covid-19 patients will worsen. In the last 10 days, at least 807 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded. A total of 682 coronavirus patients recovered, while 33 have died. Officials at the Ministry of Public Health say that due to the number of Covid-19 patients, the first wave of coronavirus has not yet passed. However, the ministry has announced that it is preparing to deal with the second wave of coronavirus and that it has prepared a comprehensive plan in light of the recent experience with the disease. Although the opening of educational institutions has not had much effect on the increasing the number of infections, the ministry states that all students need to wear masks and follow health and safety precautions.

Statistics from the Ministry of Public Health show that the number of coronavirus infections has increased in the past few days. Based on the ministry’s statistics for the last ten days, 4,026 suspected cases of coronavirus have been tested and among them, at least 807 positive cases have been detected. During this period, at least 33 Covid-19 patients lost their lives and 682 recovered. Based on these statistics, the average daily number of coronavirus patients is 80, with an average of 68 recoveries. In addition, at least three coronavirus deaths were recorded per day. In the provinces, the incidence of coronavirus in Herat has jumped significantly. In the last 10 days, 270 new positive coronavirus cases were detected in the province, an average of 27 patients per day.

Officials at the Ministry of Public Health also acknowledged the recent increase in coronavirus infections and warned that the situation could worsen. Masoumeh Jafari, deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Health, told 8 Subh that the current coronavirus outbreak in Afghanistan was not a cause for concern, but that seasonal illnesses and air pollution were likely to lead to a further spread of coronavirus. The ministry cited population density in homes and the spread of influenza as another factor in the rise of coronavirus infections, and stressed the need for citizens to stringently follow health advice, including wearing a mask. Ms. Jafari stated that in addition to other health recommendations, wearing a mask alone can prevent its further spread, especially in the cold season.

Although the ministry says that there is a possibility of a second wave of coronavirus, they say that Afghanistan has not yet passed the first wave of the virus. Ms. Jafari added that although the ministry had brought the coronavirus infection rate in the country down to six percent, it has now risen to between 15 and 17 percent. She explained that if the rate of coronavirus infections is steadily reduced to five percent, then the first wave of coronavirus can be considered as over. The Ministry of Public Health, however, blamed technical problems for the increase in the number of cases in Herat, because, according to officials, tests in the province were delayed for a week due to various reasons. A delegation from the ministry, led by Waheed Majroh, deputy director of health services at the Ministry of Public Health, visited Herat, calling the situation of coronavirus infections in the province “normal”. Officials, however, said that the situation in some provinces, particularly Parwan, was worrying.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the opening of schools and universities has not had much effect on the rate of coronavirus infections, but students still need to follow health advice, especially wearing a mask, as a priority. However, the Ministry of Public Health has for long been preparing to fight the second wave of coronavirus. Masooma Jafari says that a comprehensive plan for the provision of health services, equipment and the expansion of health centers for the second wave of coronavirus has been prepared, and that the problems and shortcomings that existed during the first one have been eliminated. Meanwhile, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the Second Vice President and chairman of the Committee to Combat Coronavirus, said that preparations for a possible second wave of the virus should be “more responsible” and “transparent” and that any violations, corruption and abuse should be prevented.

Moreover, health officials told 8 Subh that the colder weather can lead to the spread of coronavirus and that authorities should impose social restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading further. The Ministry of Public Health, however, told the media that Afghanistan did not have the conditions to apply these restrictions and that they were unable to prevent people from running educational and business centers because, according to officials, the country’s social activities were different from other countries. It should be noted that according to the predictions of health experts, the outbreak of a second wave of coronavirus is not expected in the country, because people have not complied with the restrictions properly and have somehow knowingly or unknowingly already been infected by Covid-19.

So far, 119,994 coronavirus tests have been performed in the country, of which 40,833 have been found to be positive. Among coronavirus patients in the country, 1,514 patients have died and 34,129 have recovered. Thus, there are currently 5,190 active coronavirus cases in the country. That number had dropped to 4,000 two months ago. According to the Ministry of Public Health, about 10 million citizens in the country have contracted Covid-19 so far.