555 COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan, 18 deaths reported

KABUL (Tolo News): The number of positive cases of the coronavirus in Afghanistan reached 555 after the Ministry of Public Health reported 34 new cases on Saturday, warning people to stay at home. Addressing a press conference, Wahid Majroh, an adviser the Public Health Ministry, said the 34 cases include 8 in Kabul, 8 in Herat, 5 in Kandahar, 4 in Nimroz, 4 in Wardak, 2 in Balkh, one in Ghor, one in Baghlan and one in Badghis.

He confirmed the two deaths at the Afghan-Japan Hospital in Kabul. The hospital is the only treatment center for COVID-19 patients in Kabul. The two men were aged 37 and 65 years old. Sources said one of them had infected 12 members of his family with the coronavirus. Majroh said the number of people seeking admission to hospitals has increased and added that millions will be infected with the coronavirus if the lockdown is not taken seriously.

Photos of three men lying unconscious on Kabul streets were widely shared on social media with people criticizing the government for not taking proper measures, especially on public awareness. Majroh said the samples of these men have been sent for testing and that the result will be made clear later.

According to John Hopkins University, the confirmed cases of the coronavirus has surpassed 1.69 million. Afghanistan has recorded 37 new covid-19 cases in 11 out of 34 provinces within past 24 hours which surge the total number of cases to at least 521, according to health officials. Speaking to a news conference, spokesman for the ministry of public health, Wahidullah Mayar said that 16 new cases recorded in capital Kabul, eight in western Herat, two in central Daikundi, two in northern Takhar, two in southern Kandahar and an average of one case in Logar, Parwan, Ghor Badghis, Bamiyan and Nimruz provinces.

Head of Parwan Health Department, Safiullah said that one of covid-19 patients, who had come to Kabul for medical treatment, has died. He said the patient had been an old man. Based on health ministry’s statics, 32 of 521 covid-19 patients have been recovered, while 15 others were died. Talking at a press conference, Minister of Public Health, Ferozuddin Feroz said that Afghanistan needed over one million kits and more than 50 million litter of Atenolol.

To combat coronavirus, the provision of such medical materials are impossible from outside the country, Feroz said, adding that the ministry is seeking to establish a factory to produce these materials inside Afghanistan. The Afghan government has imposed a tightened day-lockdown in a number of big cities to stop the wild spread of the virus. As a large number of Kabul citizens had not been observing the day-lockdown, the security forces have come out on the streets and set checkpoints and strictly restricted movements.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached 100,000, as the tally of cases passed 1.6 million, according to a Reuters tally. The first death came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 9. It took 83 days for the first 50,000 deaths to be recorded and just eight more for the toll to climb to 100,000.

The toll has been accelerating at a daily rate of between 6% and 10% over the past week, and there were almost 7,300 deaths globally reported. The death toll now compares with that of London’s Great Plague in the mid-1660s, which killed an estimated 100,000 people, about a third of the city’s population at the time. But it is still far short of the so-called Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and is estimated to have killed more than 20 million people by the time it petered out in 1920.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a Wuhan market where wild animals were sold late last year. It quickly spread through China and around the world. Much remains to be determined about it, including just how lethal it is. Estimates vary widely. Figures – 100,000 deaths of out 1.6 million cases – would suggest a fatality rate of 6.25% but many experts believe the actual rate is lower given that many mild and asymptomatic cases, when infected people don’t show symptoms, are not included in case totals.