The Afghan government says it has started a campaign on social media to raise public awareness to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus in the war-torn country with a fragile healthcare system.
In a new effort, a senior government official responsible for public awareness officially requested all government institutions on Wednesday to change the cover pages of their social media accounts to a standard logo that reads, “Let’s take the coronavirus seriously.”
The letter was shared via the official Twitter account of the country’s Defence Ministry on Wednesday but was removed immediately.
All government institutions are obliged to share the awareness messages released by the country’s Health Ministry and other relevant authorities.
From over 2,000 suspected cases, 196 people have tested positive, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, with five deaths due to the virus, the number of new cases is rising day by day.
It feared that the actual number of cases is likely to be significantly higher since testing is currently very limited.
It said that several cities are in a three-week lockdown at the moment, including the capital Kabul and the western Herat province, which is considered the epicentre of the country’s outbreak.
The authorities have also urged people to pray at home and halt any type of gatherings.
Doctors without Borders (MSF), an international humanitarian medical organisation, says that clear, timely and honest communication is essential to control the outbreak.
Afghanistan is very vulnerable given that public medical facilities are often not equipped with enough staff and medical supplies, the organisation warned.
Edited By: Halima sheji/Felix Ajide
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