Photo: Haji Mohammad

The fourth wave of coronavirus; a potential threat to Afghanistan

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) is working to use its resources to counter a new wave of coronavirus in Afghanistan. Since the spread of the coronavirus worldwide, SCA has vaccinated 47263 people and treated 3414 infected people in Afghanistan.

Obaidullah Malangyar, 70, a resident of Nirkh district in Maidan Wardak province, has been admitted to the COVID 19 hospital run by SCA in Maidan Shahr, the capital city of Maidan Wardak province. He suffers from shortness of breath and diabetes. He has been admitted in this hospital for 10 days and is now expressing an improvement in his health condition. He is grateful that SCA continues to assist Afghans at this critical historical moment when poverty and hardships prevail in the country. "If this hospital wouldn't exist, I would not even afford to rent a car to go to Kabul," he said. “My eyesight has been worsened and am not familiar with the Kabul city and wouldn’t know where to go for treatment. I had no choice. This hospital has created a great facility for our people, and we have been taken care of very well here."

Currently, 17 people are hospitalized at this hospital and the number has increased compared to the last few days.

Bibi Haji, 85, is another patient who came from the Nirkh district of Maidan Wardak province. She suffers from asthma, cough, and high blood pressure. She is satisfied with the services of the hospital during the four days of hospitalization. "We are given medicine and food here and the doctors are taking care of us at all times," she said. “In a situation where global aid has been cut off and everything is in short supply, the Swedish Committee helps us the most."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the delta variant coronavirus has already triggered the fourth wave of the pandemic in the middle east and Afghanistan's neighboring countries. These reports have raised concerns among health officials. 

Dr. Qudratullah Basirzoi, a pediatrician currently working at the Maidan Shahr COVID 19 hospital, recalls the achievements of SCA for the fight against the pandemic and warns of a new wave of coronavirus in Afghanistan. "Our hospital has been able to provide enough oxygen to the patients during the last waves of the pandemic," he said. "The number of our hospitalized patients is increasing now, and this is a warning sign to be prepared and have measures against the fourth wave of the virus in the country."

Together with the Ministry of Public Health, SCA has been serving since May 2020 in Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir and Maidan Wardak provinces to fight the coronavirus under the Afghanistan COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project (ERSHP) to help Afghans recover from the virus.