The Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan confirmed Saturday three more positive cases of Coronavirus in western Herat province.
Firozuddin Firoz, the Minister of Public Health, besides warning Afghans, urged people, media, scholars, and healthcare services to help fight against coronavirus.
President Ghani also, inaugurating the new year of the Afghan parliament, said that if the outbreak of coronavirus accelerated, the government would plan a national budget and present it to the parliament to pass it.
Moreover, Firozuddin Firoz warned that Herat was on alert, and the officials should not allow mass gatherings. He also underlined that 20,000 coronavirus test kits would be put to service in no time.
Abdul Qayom Rahimi, governor of Herat, insisted that precautions had been taken to stop the outbreak of the deadly virus and diagnose the infected people.
On the other hand, a member of the Herat Provincial Council talked about the insufficient budget given to fight the coronavirus. Dr. Mahdi Hadid said if a sufficient budget was not sent to Herat, the province would go into crisis.
Although some public property owners have been already warned not to open to visitors, local officials have been launching ceremonies and some offices are open to the crowd.
Wahidullah Mayar, the spokesman for the Ministry on Public Health told Ariana News that three of the suspected cases were tested positive of the virus.
He added the two of infections had recently returned from neighboring Iran – where the death toll for the novel coronavirus surpassed 120 people with a total of 4,747 infections – and the other had contracted with infected people.
It comes as the total cases of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, jumped to four in Afghanistan, while dozens of possible inflected cases are under-diagnosis.
Virtue and Vice Ministry reject claims of ordering gender segregation in restaurants
The Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has rejected claims that orders were given to restaurants in Herat to separate male and female patrons.
This comes after reports emerged recently that officials from the provincial department of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice visited restaurants and instructed owners to separate patrons according to their gender.
However, Herat officials said this was a misunderstanding and that segregation is not being enforced and that families can eat together in restaurants and spend time together in parks.
One restaurant manager in Herat, Basir Ahmad Ahmadi, said: “When families came, we had to tell the family to sit apart … and when we told the families, they said they would go home to eat.”
Jawad Tawangar, an employee at one restaurant in Herat, said: “Fortunately, after the Ministry of Virtue and Vice responded in Kabul, the issue of restrictions has returned to normal and restaurants can allow families to eat together again.”
The spokesman for the ministry, Akef Mahajer, meanwhile said no one has the right to prevent families from walking in public together.
Mahajer: “Our compatriots can go to a hotel and restaurant with their families and have tea or go shopping with their families. The reports of segregation were untrue.”
Herat officials also said no order to this effect has been issued and that families can visit restaurants together.
Naeem ul-Haq Haqqani, Herat’s director of information and culture, said: “We reject [the reports of segregation] completely and it is not true.”
“Sitting around a table and eating with the family is not a problem from the Islamic point of view, nor from the custom of the community, but it can be useful for encouraging families and for getting more involved in the community,” said Negina Barak, a resident of Herat.
Five killed in twin blasts in Herat
At least five people were killed in two explosions in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat on Friday evening, security sources said.
The blasts happened around 6:00pm in District 12 of the provincial capital Herat.
Twenty two others were wounded in the explosions which took place in a playground where youths were playing.
The cause of the blasts remains unclear.
Former district police chief in Ghor gunned down
Habib-u-Rahman Malikzada, former police chief of Tiora district of Ghor province was gun downed by unknown assailants in western Herat province on Tuesday, relatives of the deceased said.
According to his relatives, Malikzada was shot close to the entrance of his house in PD1 of Herat city on Tuesday morning.
Sabir Herawi, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Intelligence, has confirmed the incident, stating that the culprits fled the area after attacking Malikzada.
So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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