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IEA welcomes UN decision to temporarily exempt sanctions on 13 officials

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(Last Updated On: June 22, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Wednesday welcomed the UN’s decision to temporarily exempt sanctions on senior IEA officials but called for the sanctions to be lifted permanently.

In a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs, the IEA stated that it considers the lifting of sanctions as its right in line with the commitment made in the Doha Agreement, which was signed in February 2020 between the IEA and the United States.

In response to sanctions on two senior IEA officials being revoked, the ministry said: “Unfortunately sanctions have been reimposed on two senior IEA officials. MoFA considers such pressure tactics futile and repetition of failed experiments that do not yield results.”

The IEA called on the UN Security Council “not to pass prejudiced verdicts any longer, but rather to guarantee the legitimate rights of the Afghan people.”

This comes after the UN’s decision Monday to ban two IEA officials from traveling in response to the restrictions imposed on Afghan women.

Travel exemptions permitting 15 IEA officials to go abroad for negotiations were set to expire Monday but the travel exemptions were extended for 13 officials for at least two months, but scrapped for the two education officials.

According to a diplomat who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, the officials now banned from traveling are Said Ahmad Shaidkhel, the acting deputy education minister, and Abdul Baqi Basir Awal Shah, also known as Abdul Baqi Haqqani, the acting Minister of Higher Education.

After difficult negotiations, the UN’s Taliban (IEA) Sanctions Committee compromised on an extension for the 13 IEA leaders for “60 days + 30 days,” diplomats told AFP.

Under the terms of the agreement, the exemption will automatically be extended for the 13 IEA leaders in the third month “unless objected by any Council member,” a diplomatic source said.

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Cholera cases rising in Takhar

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2022)

Cholera and diarrhea cases are rising among children and adults in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar province, local officials said.

Abdul Qahar Ahadi, provincial health director, said that more than 20,000 patients suffering from various diseases visited public health facilities during the past two months, which is unprecedented.

Takhar’s main hospital meanwhile said that most of the visitors were treated for cholera and diarrhea.

Hayatullah Imami, an official at Takhar hospital, said that 30 percent of patients visiting the facility daily were suffering from diarrhea.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria.

People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with the cholera bacteria. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.

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COVID-19

India records spike in daily COVID cases and 21 deaths in 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2022)

India logged 17,073 new COVID-19 cases early Monday morning, raising its tally to 43,407,046, and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported.

The death toll now stands at 525,020.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.57 percent, the ministry said.

Pakistan’s ministry of health meanwhile reported Monday that it had recorded 382 new cases in the last 24 hours.

This took Pakistan’s COVID-19 total case count to over 1.53 million. Two deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours.

However, experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another COVID-19 wave as the country continues to see an uptick in new cases.

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Polio vaccination campaign rolls out in western Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

More than one million Afghan children are expected to be vaccinated over the next few days in the latest polio vaccination campaign that was launched in western Afghanistan on Sunday.

Officials said the campaign will run for four days and be conducted across four provinces in the western region.

Waheed Rahmani, head of the vaccination campaign, said that 1.1 million children under the age of five are expected to receive the polio drops, including 720,000 in Herat province.

He said that so far there are no obstacles in the way of rolling out the campaign.

Volunteers said that they hope to reach all the children who need to be vaccinated.

“I along with my team will work honestly to make Afghanistan free from polio virus,” said Fina Nezami, a volunteer.

“I hope that Afghanistan becomes polio-free and we are happy to go door to door for vaccinations,” said Yagana Nabizada, another volunteer.

Local health officials have assured the public that all areas will be covered by the campaign.

“We have not forgotten areas, and while planning vaccination programs, all the areas are reviewed and if any area is left out, it will be immediately covered,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, provincial deputy health director.

Around 728,000 children received polio drops in the previous campaign in Herat. Around 5,000 volunteers are involved in the current campaign in Herat.

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