Despite low numbers of daily cases reported by the Public Health Ministry, doctors said Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 patients in Kabul hospitals has increased following the Eid days.
The doctors warned that inattention to the COVID-19 threat will create a crisis in the country.
“Our visitors are more than 150 individuals (a day). This shows that the coronavirus spread is increasing again and now most of our visitors are the youth,” said Khatira Halimi, a doctor at the Afghan-Japan Hospital, one of the two state-owned COVID-19 treatment centers in Kabul.
“Our request is that health advice by the Ministry of Public Health should be implemented so that we can prevent a crisis,” head of Afghan-Japan Hospital Ahmad Zahir Sultani said.
by the Ministry of Public Health shows that there are 36,746 positive cases of COVID-19 in the country, 1,288 deaths and at least 26,000 recoveries. But a new report by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says the pandemic is pushing millions more Afghans into poverty, overwhelming the country's basic healthcare system and causing food shortages while the country lacks the required medical equipment to treat patients diagnosed with the viral disease.
The report by SIGAR published last Thursday says that only 300 ventilators are currently available across the country, and there is a severe shortage of oxygen supply in the capital.
The watchdog warns that Afghanistan is “headed for a humanitarian disaster” as the virus continues to spread.
“The economic shock of the pandemic, including increased unemployment, food-supply disruptions due to border closures, and rising food prices, has exacerbated Afghans' food insecurity, already impacted by the ongoing conflict and high poverty levels,” said SIGAR.
This comes as the Afghan government announced on Tuesday that universities will reopen on Wednesday, August 15, but schools will remain shut as their reopening needs a new plan.
“It was decided that the Ministry of Education should prepare a new plan for reopening the schools for the next cabinet meeting so that a decision is made in this respect,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday. "We should wait for a decision by the cabinet next week,” he said.
Kabul residents said the virus should be taken seriously as there is a fear of its return.
“The people should take coronavirus seriously and they should implement the health advice,” said Sozan, a Kabul resident.
“People are not implementing health advice. They should take it seriously so that they are not infected with the coronavirus,” Kabul resident Zabihullah said.