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Covid-19 patients, deaths greater than official record

Covid-19 patients, deaths greater than official record

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On
Jun 15, 2020 - 17:03

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The number of people dying from Covid-19 infection is far greater than what official statistics show while no precautionary measures are adopted at burial ceremonies of coronavirus fatalities.

The only change one can see is the reduced number of people attending burial ceremony of coronavirus patients.

Coronavirus death toll figures

According to the Ministry of public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH), 24,766 people contracted coronavirus until June, 14 in Afghanistaninfo-icon, in which 471 have died while 4,725 others recovered.

However, a large number of people who test positive for coronavirus are not referred to hospitals.

The MoPH had announced that six people died from coronavirus in Kabul but Pajhwok Afghan News teams visited Shahrak-i-Omaid and Shahrak-i-Haji Nabi cemeteries where they were told that 12 people were buried between 9:00am and 11:00am and the reason of their death was coronavirus.

Similarly, some people who died of coronavirus were buried in cemeteries outside Kabul city.

Rajab Ali, a gravedigger, said deaths caused by coronavirus had increased recently as they buried up to 35 people who died of the disease.

 “In the past, three to four gravediggers would work in this cemetery, but currently their strength has grown to 25,” he said.  Ali added two gravediggers could dig four graves from morning till sunset.

Ali Jafari, another gravedigger in Haji Nabi Township, said the number of gravediggers in their cemetery surged from two persons to 13 because the increase in deaths. He sid they buried 30 people mostly those who died from coronavirus.

Ahmadullah, another gravedigger in Shuhada-i-Sualeheen area, said previously they witnessed the death of one or two people while recently 15 to 20 deceased were brought to the graveyard on a daily basis.

Tawhid Shokhmand, MoPH deputy spokesperson, said: “May be some people have had died of coronavirus in parts of Kabul but the ministry registers coronavirus patients who submit their blood samples for test.”

Need for precautionary measures

Rajab Ali and a number of other gravediggers asked the government to send fully equipped teams for burial of people dying from coronavirus. According to them, the burial of coronavirus bodies helped spread the virus.

Referring to coffin and other equipment carried with bodies to the cemetery, they said most people left behind the coffins and other things in the cemetery. They said such equipment should be set alight otherwise they spread the virus and other people visiting the cemetery would also be infected.

Drug addicts come to cemeteries during night take away the coffins and sell them in bazaars.

MoPH spokesperson Akmal Samsour said individuals dying from coronavirus in hospitals were washed and coffined in the hospital and then handed over to their families.

But referring to coronavirus patients who die at home, he said: “The transfer of virus from a dead body is not possible. We want people to refer to the MoPH in case someone in their family dies of coronavirus. The ministry sprays the body before burial to make sure that the virus is not transferred.”

Low public participation in burials

Rajb Ali said: “The change is that in the past a large number of people would participate in burial ceremonies while now a small number of people do so.”

He said in the past, money was distributed after funeral prayers, a tradition eclipsed by the Covid-19 crisis.

Ali Jafar also said burial ceremonies had changed as not more than 10 people were present in the event.

Nh/ma

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