KABUL (Pajhwok): Some people believe horror associated with coronavirus has a shocking and devastating impact on the world but the disease also taught some lessons to humans.
The spread of coronavirus forced some countries, including Afghanistan, to pay more attention to their health sector. Some orders issued in the wake of pandemic helped stop some unpleasant cultural acts, improved attention towards health and more than everything the spread of virus caused unity and affection among people.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged in China’s Wuhan City back in 2019 is an infectious disease. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces, according scientists.
In Afghanistan, the first case of Covid-19 was reported on February 11, 2020 in Herat City and so far more than 66,000 people have been infected by the virus out of which 2,812 have died, the MoPH said.
Global media reports say that 167 million people have contracted the virus worldwide so far out of which 125 million have recovered while 4.5 million have died from the respiratory disease.
Following the spread of coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) introduced health measures to slow down the spread of Covid-19 including wearing mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others, stay six feet away from others who don’t live with you, get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you, Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, wash your hands often with soap and water,use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
Covid-19 forces govt to pay more attention to health sector:
WaheedIbrahimi, an employee of Women Affairs Ministry, told Pajhwok Afghan News besides financial losses that Covid-19 inflicted on people there are something positive as well which could not be ignored.
“Little attention was paid to the health sector before Cvid-19, but when the pandemic occurred hospitals got furnished with medical equipment.”
He hoped that current development made in the health sector would be protected and more attention would be paid in the future.
Ahmad Karim, a resident of Zaranj, the capital of southwestern Nimroz province, said unfortunately Covid-19 pandemic caused multiple problems in different sectors. The spread of the virus increased poverty, hurt public economic condition and caused psychological illnesses to the people.
He, however, said the pandemic left a positive impact as well: “Government and the international community paid more attention to the health sector while it was completely ignored before the spread of coronavirus.”
Kabul dweller Mohammad Hassan Haqyar said health sector was an important area, adding that before the spread of coronavirus less attention was paid to the health sector and was nearly ignored.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government equipped all hospitals with modern equipment, oxygen supply, ventilators and others.
Mohammad Salem, a psychologist and employee of health ministry in Farah, said: “In the first state, Covid-19 taught us that there is need for a strong health system and economy so that in the future we could independently deal with such situation.”
He said after the spread of Covid-19 government invested in health sector and this should remain in the top priority list of the government.
He said the Afghan government managed Covid-19 crisis well and its performance was better comparing to governments in other countries.
It is worth mentioning that last year the government announced 3,500 beds for Covid-19 patients and added 27,000 more would be provided in the districts.
In addition, the MoPH during the pandemic allocated some hospitals, health centres and even the Darulaman Palace for Covid-19 patients and started work on new hospitals.
As part of Covid-19 efforts the government purchased tens of ventilators and ensured distribution of oxygen supply to hospitals in the country.
Ajmal Darwish, an internist in Badakhshan Civil Hospital, told Pajhwok that people’s familiarity with health guidelines, seriousness in observing personal and environmental health rules were the main achievements of the Covid-19 pandemic containment efforts.
He said some people in Afghanistan and some other countries did not observe personal and environmental hygiene and that was the reason microbial diseases increased among people.
In the beginning of the pandemic, people were careless about health guidelines, using mask, washing hands and using gloves; but later people obliged to observe hygiene after the raise of Covid-19 cases and related deaths, he added.
Darwish asked people to observe personal and environmental hygiene like they did during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Qari Rahmatullah, an Islamic scholar in Zaranj city, capital of Nimroz province, also said that personal and environmental hygiene was one of the high gains of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Islam also emphasized on observing hygiene and cleanness of body and soul and most Afghans practicing hygiene during their five times of prayers.
“The good about Covid-19 was that it obliged people to follow sanitation, another good was that it also controlled moral corruption,” he said.
Prevention of unwanted traditions:
Interviewees said that some bad traditions and foreign cultures that ruled Afghan wedding ceremonies and funerals with high dowries and unnecessary costs were controlled with Covid-19 pandemic to some extent.
Ahmad Khan Ghori, a tribal elder from Ghor province in Zaranj city said that one of the lessons people learnt from Covid-19 was prevention of high unnecessary costs.
“We avoided joining crowded places, we celebrated happy events in small groups and with more kind so our health protected,” he said.
He added that before the Covid-19 pandemic, wedding parties were celebrated with big crowds and high costs which were against Islamic teachings.
Hafizullah, a resident of Hesa-i-SawomKhairkhana said, “The good about Covid-19 was that I was able to organize a short wedding party for my son, Covid-19 and the quarantine were good chances; because our economy is poor and I could not organize the party even in 10 years if there was no quarantine.”
He said that people should always organize small parties and avoid crowded ceremonies and high costs that damage people’s economy.
Covid-19 brought unity, sympathy among people:
A number of respondents said that sympathy and cooperation increased among people on the local and international level during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Faridullah Nasrat, Nimroz public health director, said, “Besides negative aspects, Covid-19 has shocked the world, it created economic problems and thousands of people lost their lives around the world, but it also brought some good and we learnt good lessons from it.”
“Covid-19 pandemic taught us unity and cooperation among all the peoples of the world. When a person fell ill, there was a lot of help for him or her to prevent further spread of the disease…,” he said.
The good achievements of the pandemic should be protected and cooperation among people continued, it is something Islam also emphasizes, Nasrat said.
Sayed Mohammad Shirzadi, an Islamic scholar in Herat province said, “Covid-19 united the whole humanity to search for a solution to this disaster, all countries tried to offer better vaccine for humanity for prevention of the virus.”
He asked people to continue their unity and also work for other problems of the world such as conflicts and violence regardless of their nationality, language and religion.
“Covid-19 created a feeling of solidarity among different countries and developed countries supported the poor ones, the world tried for creating new systems for identification of the virus and they created laboratories for that… it was in fact a scientific development and created unity,” he added.
Jawad Amid, a civil society activist in Herat, said, “One of the lessons we learnt from Covid-19 is that the life is very short, we should know the value of each other, a small virus that cannot be seen with eyes can separate us for months.”
He also stressed that good aspects of the pandemic should be protected and cooperation among people should continue.
“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”