Findings by a monitoring team of the Public Health Ministry indicate that private hospitals in Kabul do not have the capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests and do not match standards set by the World Health Organization.
The hospitals were allowed earlier this week to conduct COVID-19 tests and many of them showed readiness for this. But the team says the hospitals will not be allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests unless they meet the required measures.
“The PCR test is not conducted in Blossom Hospital based on our findings. They are taking samples and are sending them to the (government’s) laboratories and they are tested there for free,” said Ashiq Khan Saadati, head of diagnostic center of the Ministry of Public Health.
But the Blossom Hospital in Kabul has started collecting samples from suspected COVID-19 patients, according to patients. Sources said they are charging over Afs2,000 ($25) for each sample while these samples are tested in government testing centers.
“They are not thinking about the people. The name of the Public Health Ministry should be changed to the Ministry of Trade,” said Saidagul, a Kabul resident.
“People are poor. There are no jobs with COVID-19,” said Khan Zamir, a Kabul resident.
Acting Minister of Public Health, Mohammad Jawad Osmani, said that private hospitals will soon begin providing services to COVID-19 patients.
“We are transferring sample-collection centers from schools to (private) hospitals,” he said.
“We have imported preventive and diagnostic kits for the coronavirus, and we have cooperated with the Public Health Ministry and the WHO,” said Mansoor Mullahkhil, head of Blossom Hospital.
This comes as the coronavirus testing has stopped in Herat and Balkh due to a lack of equipment. Also, in Kabul, health workers said that 22 mobile centers of sample-collection are faced with a lack of kits.
“Less patients are visiting here due to lack of kits,” said Maryam, a health worker at a sample collection center at Shirino High School in Kabul.
The Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday reported 793 new positive cases of the coronavirus from 1,640 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 13 new deaths from COVID-19 and 381 recoveries. With this, the total cases are now 26,310, the total reported deaths are 491, and total recoveries are 5,508.