Over 120 government employees have been exposed to the Coronavirus due to poor precautions in service offices in Herat. The infected employees are currently in-home quarantine.
They are fine, say public health officials. A research conducted by Ariana in Herat shows that the recklessness of government employees and visitors has led to the transmission of the virus.
The findings of the study show that 4 employees of the Department of Transportation, 3 employees of the Water Supply Department, 4 employees of the Municipality, 3 employees of the Tax Department, 5 employees of the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, 75 employees of the Public Health Department, 10 policemen, 4 employees of the Herat Ambulance, 3 provincial employees, including the head of Human Resources, 11 imams, and 8 employees of the Herat Customs Department, have been exposed to the virus.
Head of Herat’s Public Health Department Dr. Abdul Hakim Tamana, says the communicatory virus has hiked due to the irresponsible conduct of government employees and the citizens. “If this doesn’t change, it could exacerbate the Coronavirus disaster in the near future,” he added.
At the same time, a number of government officials in Herat underline that there are no sufficient health gears in the office to fight the virus.
Sharif Ahmad, a government employee, says they are given a number a mask and pair of gloves for a whole week, even though they deal with a large number of visitors every day.
“Although three of our employees have been infected by the virus, no action has been taken to disinfect the premises,” he said.
At the same time, Engineer Ratib Hamim, head of water supply authority, confirms that one of his employees has been infected with the virus.
Hamim says they are a service provider, and they have continued to work for the past two months despite the quarantine. “People who come to the office do not have masks and do not follow safety measures,” he says.
Ghulam Hazrat Mushfeq, the mayor of Herat, also confirms the transmission of the COVID19 in service administrations, adding that the process of disinfecting public places and some government offices is being carried out on daily basis.
Recently, in a press conference, the governor of Herat ordered the entire service to pay extra attention to healthcare guidelines and wear masks at all times.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammadi, head of Herat Ambulances, emphasizes that the number of people living with the coronavirus in Herat is still the rise.
“Most people are scared of being hospitalized at COVID19 wards – hiding that they have been contracted and/or going into home quarantine,” Mohammadi said.
He also confirms that over 120 employees of various government administrations across the city have been infected with the deadly Coronavirus.
It is noteworthy that Herat is the epicenter of the COVID19 in Afghanistan and was the first province exposed to the virus in late February 2020.
IEA confirms death of five MoD employees in Herat attack
The Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) confirmed Thursday that five employees of the 207th Al-Farooq Corps in Herat were killed in an attack.
The ministry said that the employees were killed and several others were injured as a result of an attack by unknown gunmen who targeted a Coaster mini bus carrying medical personnel from the Corps.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for this attack.
On Thursday morning, local sources said that armed men attacked the vehicle carrying the employees of Al-Farooq military corps from inside a rickshaw in Joy Injil area of Herat city.
The IEA’s Ministry of Defense has said that the enemy cannot “weaken the determination of defense employees and personnel” by launching such attacks. The ministry has said that it will suppress the enemies.
Girls put artworks on display at Herat exhibition
A group of nearly a dozen young girls have showcased 105 artworks including paintings and calligraphies in an exhibition in Herat province.
The exhibition has been held on the occasion of teachers’ day.
The organizers said that by holding the exhibition they wanted to highlight the significance of the art of painting and showcasing girls’ talents.
“We launched the exhibition on the occasion of teachers’ day. Although the schools are closed, we still care about our teachers and education. This is a message to the government that we, the Afghan girls, will continue to enhance our skills under any circumstances,” said Alnaz Frotan, an artist.
The artworks at the exhibition each carries a specific message, and local officials welcomed holding of the exhibition “Painting and calligraphy are among the valuable and historical arts of the ancient Herat. It is the duty of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to help the arts,” said Naeem-ul-Haq Haqqani, Herat’s director of information and culture.
The artists said that there are some restrictions, but their work hasn’t been affected.
“Although there are some restrictions, but our art continues like how it was in the past. We will never stop, but will work like in the past and create artworks,” said Kawsar Omar, an artist.
“We showcased some Islamic artworks, including calligraphies and modern paintings. All the artists are girls. We want to motivate girls to have such achievements in existing circumstances,” said Saeqa Jamshidi, an artist.
Several arts exhibitions have been held in Herat in recent months. Artists call on government to help their artworks get international exposure.
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.
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