Members of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) of Afghanistan's parliament said on Sunday that they had decided to hold a general session once a week on Wednesdays to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
Many members have not been seen in sessions, MPs told reporters.
“The virus spread in parliament and across the country, everyone is trying keep themselves away,” said Mohammad Din Hamdard, a member of the Wolesi Jirga.
Members of the Meshrano Jirga (upper house) want similar hours.
“We should urge our head to hold a session once a week like the Wolesi Jirga,” said Fawzia Sadat Samkanay, member of the Meshrano Jirga.
The Ministry of Public Health said that two suspected cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Wolesi Jirga, but details were not given.
“The parliament has 240 members and they hold sessions every day. That can spread the coronavirus. I propose that you stop your session for two weeks,” said Ferozuddin Feroz, public health minister.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) urged people to take care of themselves.
“They should be aware and act on the advice of doctors, to save their lives and society,” said Zabiullah Farhang, spokesman for the AIHRC.
Meanwhile, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission said that based on the Cabinet's orders, the government work schedule will start at 8:00 am and go until 1:00 pm (the government also ordered a second shift from1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, if needed).
Employees who are over 65-years-old will be off for one month, and also pregnant women will be off for a month, according to the commission.