President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the establishment of a 100-bed specialized hospital in the western province of Herat as part of the government’s efforts to ensure the medical treatment of coronavirus COVID-19 patients, local officials in Herat said on Thursday.
The hospital will be completed within three weeks, said the officials.
Meanwhile, a coronavirus testing laboratory also began operating in Herat. The laboratory has the capacity to test 50 people daily.
“From today, they (patients) can undertake their testing inside Herat province. In the past, we were sending samples to other areas and they would take 24 to 48 hours, but now the testing facility is available inside Herat health department,” said Khalid Ahadi, the head of legal department of Ministry of Public Health.
The laboratory is the second in its kind after Kabul.
“According to the planning, the hospital will be completed from 15 to 20 days, the hospital is lying over 2,000 square meters,” said Aziz Aqa Yaha, the owner of the private construction company.
“If God willing, we will work on this project in three shifts, we are determined to complete this hospital within 15 to 20 days,” said Abdul Qayoum Rahimi, the governor of Herat province.
“With the establishment of this hospital, we will be able to overcome on our needs, if the cases surpass thousands, of course, this hospital will not have the capacity to address all cases, but we are optimistic that the cases will not increase,” said Mamosi Ziwar, deputy public health minister.
This comes as concerns remain high over the lack of resources to deal with flow of thousands of Afghan refugees from Iran, which many believe play a key role in the spread of the virus in Afghanistan.
Afghan government officials on Thursday said that five quarantine centers in Herat and Nimroz provinces have been established as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. So far, 22 people have tested positive in Afghanistan.
Also, a 200-bed hospital in Kandahar has been prepared to treat coronavirus patients, according to the Administrative Office of the President.