INDIA TO PROVIDE 500K DOSES OF COVID VACCINE TO AFGHANISTAN
The Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday said that India is providing 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan that will reach the country within the next 10 days.
The doses of the vaccine are enough for 250,000 people, the ministry said.
The vaccine is awaiting the approval of the World Health Organization to be sent to Afghanistan, said Waheed Majroh, the deputy minister of public health.
He said the government wants to vaccinate 20 percent of the country’s population within the next six months and donor countries and organizations have pledged $112 million for this.
“Its approval will arrive when the vaccines arrive from India. We will share its approval with the media. And will begin the vaccination after that. The vaccines are the pledge of India to Afghanistan,” Majroh said.
He said that health workers, adults, security forces, education officials and media workers will be vaccinated in the first stage.
“At least 16 million doses of the vaccine will be received from an organization named COVAX Facility that will be enough for eight million of our fellow Afghans,” he said.
The Ministry of Public Health said that the second wave of the coronavirus has been trending downward recently.
“The coronavirus crisis itself was an opportunity for us to increase our diagnosis capacity… We plan to establish COVID test centers in 34 provinces by June,” said Masooma Jafari, a spokesperson for the health ministry.
Meanwhile, the EU delegation in Kabul announced additional support of 35 million euros to tackle the ongoing pandemic and mitigate its socio-economic impacts in Afghanistan.
Since the start of the pandemic, the EU has mobilized almost 147 million euros to address the immediate health crisis and provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need, the EU said in a statement.
“The pandemic has exacerbated an already grim situation in Afghanistan, creating even bigger needs in a country for decades plagued by war. Together with partners and in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the EU’s contribution aims to support those who suffer the most from this crisis. The three projects launched today will contribute to this further” says EU Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt.
So far, COVID vaccines have been implemented in at least 50 countries.