A report by Pajhwok Afghan News states that 32 ventilators were "smuggled" from Afghanistan to Pakistan after they were “embezzled” from the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.
The report has been published based on documents seen by Pajhwok Afghan News that show that each of the devices is worth between $18,000 to $25,000 and the total value of the shipment was $600,000.
The deal was done through WhatsApp messages, according to the report.
Data by Ministry of Public Health shows that there are 314 ventilators in public hospitals and at least 40 of them are not functional.
An official of the Public Health Ministry said the report will be investigated.
“The Ministry of Public Health rejects the reports of the embezzlement of ventilators,” said spokesman Masooma Jafari. “All assisted ventilators are brought to the stock of the Ministry of Public Health and are registered there and then are sent to hospitals.”
The report says that an Afghan trader has started efforts to purchase the ventilators from smugglers and bring them back to the country. The report also mentions that the “smugglers” have said that the ventilators operation was assisted by an institution in the Afghan ministry.
The Afghan parliament on Monday decided to summon the acting minister of public health, Ahmad Jawad Osmani, to the house to hear a response about "the spending of the COVID-19 response budget,” according to parliament speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani.
Some Kabul residents said such attempts by any group should be prevented by the government.
“This is a ‘treason’ to the people of Afghanistan, and it should be probed,” said Ahmad Ferdaws, a Kabul resident.