As the COVID-19 infection is presumably about to reach its peak in the country, doctors warn that easing the lockdown in Kabul could lead the country to a health crisis that could not be handled with the current facilities.
The lockdown has been relaxed unofficially in Kabul despite the city having the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The number of cases surpassed 7,000 on Monday, said the Health Ministry.
TOLOnews reporter Nabilla Ashrafi on Sunday visited different parts of Kabul, from downtown Shahr-e-Naw area to Khairkhana in the north and Kart-e-Char area in the west of Kabul. Everything looked normal as the past, pre-lockdown, she said.
Doctors said that social distancing, using a face mask and hand-washing many times a day should become part of people’s culture given the fact that the COVID-19 threat will not vanish in the near future.
“When numbers of infected people increase, the country’s health system will not be able to respond. When the health system is not able to respond, the number of deaths will be very high, regretfully,” said Shams-Ul-Islam, a medical doctor in Kabul.
The Ministry of Public Health has many times warned against the people’s indifference to the lockdown rules. Last week, the deputy minister of public health, Wahid Majroh, said the easing of the lockdown will be implemented in three phases and it will take months.
He said the new plan on easing the lockdown will soon be made public.
“Lack of social distancing and not adhering to the lockdown in the short term will increase respiratory diseases, and, if the situation continues, it will create a big crisis around the country in the long term,” said Aimal Moahid, a medical doctor in Kabul.
In eastern Nangarhar province, a group of doctors had one moment of silence to honor the death of health workers who have died of COVID-19 in Afghanistan.
“The result of 30 to 40 samples is positive when we test 50 samples. This shows that the number of positive cases is very high in the east,” said Sayed Habib Arwal, member of a doctors’ association in the east of Afghanistan.