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Afghanistan starts manufacturing masks, kits

Christian Fernsby |
Afghanistan on Tuesday launched its maiden N-95 facial mask manufacturing factory as the country's fragile health system struggles in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

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According to health officials, over a thousand workers would work at this public-private venture aimed at meeting surging demand for facial masks and safety kits for health workers.

Speaking at the occasion, Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz hailed the tighter government measures of nationwide lockdown as effective in controlling the spread of the COVID-19 in the war-ravaged country.

"If we continue with such quarantine measures, inshallah, in two months we would be able to overcome it," he said.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed 49 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours taking the total to 714 with 23 deaths.

After the frontline province of Herat bordering Iran, the capital Kabul has emerged as the worst affected province by the pandemic, statistics showed.

Over the weekend, the lockdown in Kabul was extended for two more weeks with strict measures amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Announcing the move, Kabul Governor Yaqoub Haidari said inter-city movement would be strictly prohibited and only essential services would be allowed to operate in the capital city to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

"If we don’t extend the quarantine, deaths due to coronavirus will double," he warned.

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