The Ministry of Public Health said Wednesday that of the 15 suspected cases of coronavirus from Herat, Ghor and Kabul provinces, only one was positive, in Herat, and the 14 other cases came back negative after tests in Kabul.
“The number of incidents is not increasing and is under control, but that does not mean that the number of incidents will not increase, because we have to be careful--and those who travel to Iran and come back when they find symptoms--we called them suspects,” said Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz.
According to the ministry, the outbreak is now under control in Afghanistan, but citizens must remain cautious.
“The Ministry of Finance allocated around $15 million to the Ministry of Public Health, while another ten million is in a state of reserve if the unwanted incidents escalate and get out of control,” said Feroz.
Officials at the central laboratory of the Ministry of Public Health say the coronavirus can be identified within hours.
The lab has more than a dozen doctors working to identify new viruses, such as corona, in separate departments.
Officials at the lab say they are equipped with advanced medical tools and have met WHO standards.
“If there is a emergency, if we don't consider the cost, we can make our results available to our fellow citizens in about four to five hours,” said Nasir Ahmad Stanikzai, acting head of the lab.
Meanwhile, a number of MPs and members of the Herat Provincial Council are worried about the reopening of the Islam Qala border with Iran. Last night, they said, more than 1,200 Afghans were forced to cross the border into Afghanistan.
“The Afghan Foreign Ministry and Iranian Foreign Ministry have reached a diplomatic agreement on the border closure,” said Toryalai Tahiri, a member of Herat's provincial council.
Fever, headache, sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath are symptoms of coronavirus, but washing hands with soap, using a mask, refraining from hand-shaking and kissing, not touching one's mouth, nose, eyes, will help prevent spread of the virus. Also, using foods with vitamin C are known to help prevent the virus.