ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Health officials in southwestern Nimroz province say positive Covid-19 cases have increased in the province recently and the provincial coronavirus hospital may be closed due to lack of fund.
Dr. Ali Ahmad Azimi, director of Covid-19 hospital in Nimroz, told Pajhwok Afghan News that at least 1,306 people underwent Covid-19 tests from January 2022 till August and 175 of them tested positive. He said seven people died of the virus during the period.
Dr. Azimi said Covid-19 had not ended in the province and positive cases increased with each season.
Recently, positive cases have increased in the province and many people approach the provincial Covid-19 hospital daily, he informed.
Azimi said the main factor behind the increase in positive Covid cases was people’s indifference to the disease.
According to him, currently about 20 beds are available in the Covid hospital and adequate testing kits and oxygen also exist.
“After the fall of the previous administration, the World Bank, which was financially supporting the hospital, cancelled its contract,” he said.
He said salaries of the hospital staff had not been paid since last eight months, but the workers continued attending their jobs.
Meanwhile, Hamid Sherzai, one of the doctors in the hospital, said the increase in the number of patients having Covid-19 symptoms was worrisome.
He said: “Currently 10 balloons of oxygen are available in the hospital and in case of a shortage we can purchase it, but our problem is the lack of salaries.”
He called non-payment of salaries and economic problems of the hospital’s employees as worrying and said currently 34 people were working in the hospital, including doctors, nurses, laboratory and administrative personnel.
He also said if fund for the hospital was not allocated, it would stop operating by next month.
Dr. Sherzai urged residents of the province to take coronavirus seriously and strictly follow health guidelines such as frequently washing hands, wearing a mask, observing social distance and avoiding participation in gatherings.
Sarwar Nahtani, a resident of Zaranj, told Pajhwok that he always used a mask to protect himself from the virus.
Meanwhile, Farzana Saiee, another resident of Zaranj, who works in a non-governmental organization in the health sector, said that their organization worked daily to prevent positive cases of Covid-19 disease and provide healthcare tools to people.
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