Afghanistan has recorded its lowest number of daily infections and deaths in more than a month as the president said 90% of the war-ravaged country’s population live below $2 poverty line.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 rose by two from the previous day to stand at 1,183 on Monday, the lowest daily increase in around a month.
In its latest update, the health ministry said the number of people who had tested positive for the virus had reached 35,503 an increase of 40 on the day before. Heath ministry facilities were able to test 118 suspected patients over the past 24 hours.
At least 30 patients are in severe condition as the number of recoveries has reached 23,663. No record of deaths and new positive cases were reported in Kabul on Monday.
Local officials in Herat, which borders Iran, have warned of a second wave of the virus in the province. Officials in the province said that the flow of Afghan refugees from Iran, and the neglect of the people to follow health guidelines have increased the possibility of a new wave of the virus. They also said that the second wave of the virus has already started in some areas and it is threatening the lives of thousands of people.
Ahmad Jawad Osmani, the country’s acting health minister, has said that the ministry bought 500 new ventilators and will be distributed among the provinces “fairly.”
President Ashraf Ghani said over the weekend that 90% of Afghan households live below the poverty line and those are the people that the newly launched “Dastarkhan Milli” or National Dining Table programme targets.
As he inaugurated the $244 million food aid distribution programme on Saturday, said that the programme is expected to reach 4.17m families across Afghanistan, covering 90% of the country’s population which lives below the $2 poverty line.
Ghani warned corrupt officials and said that he receives reports from several places that the district governors tried to get some of the money, he warned them and “I will hang them from their legs.”
According to the programme, the government will allocate $86 million in the first phase and then $158 million in the second phase to provide food to people across the country. The first stage will cover over 1.7 million families in 13,000 villages in 34 provinces of the country.
Vice president Sarwar Danish, who leads a government coronavirus taskforce, asked for humanitarian aid and medical equipment. “Still there are serious dangers, therefore we all need to take the guidelines seriously,” Danesh said
In May, the government also had announced a free bread distribution programme. The initiative was designed to provide aid through the city’s bakeries to those in need during the lockdown.