Residents of Herat said COVID-19 patients had been missing out on even the most basic healthcare services in coronavirus (COVID-19) centers in the province.

They highlighted that the Afghan health authorities hadn’t properly used the assistance and supplies they were donated.

They believe scarce medical supplies and facilities as well as the healthcare officials’ failure to handle the disease has led to the death of their families.

They spoke of the lack of professional medical doctors, saying all the medical workers tackling the coronavirus pandemic were the newly graduated students of medical studies with less practiced experience.

They urged the government to develop a proper management system in the health department of Herat province.

Members of Herat’s provincial council, meanwhile, laid the blame on the province’s local authority and health department for poor planning and mishandling of the coronavirus.

Herat had faced severe shortages of medical gear and supplies despite the government’s huge financial supports for handling the coronavirus crisis, said Mohammad Sardar Bahaduri, a member of the provincial council.

Mr. Bahaduri stressed a failure in managing the health department in Herat province has costed so many lives to the pandemic.

A spokesman for the health department in Herat province, however, issued a denial to the claims that the COVID-19 centers lacked medical supplies and equipment, adding that they have sufficient healthcare gears.

Speaking to TKG reporter, Mohammad Rafiq Shirzai, a spokesman for the provincial health department, said that any healthcare services were being delivered in the two COVID-19 centers of the province, namely, Shaidaiee COVID-19 100-bed hospital and Faizi Ghoryani Medical Center with 300 beds.

Considering the needs of patients, delivering services in the areas of surgery, hemodialysis, obstetrics, psychology and psychotherapy were ongoing, he added.

Officials in the COVID-19 centers are equipped with high capacity, Mr. Shirzai said, adding that so far, no deaths have been reported due to the lack of facilities or negligence.

Within the next ten days, Gazargah 100-bed hospital supported by Doctors Without Border/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will be inaugurated, Mr. Shirzai continued.

Meanwhile, Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor, spoke to TKG, as saying that the Afghan ministry of health had allotted AFGs400 million for the fight against the novel coronavirus, of which AFGs200 million were spent at the very early stage.

He further acknowledged that the rest of the money will be used to pay the salaries of health workers and to buy equipment.

He didn’t provide details on how much will be spent on buying the medical supplies and equipment.
The COVID-19 that first emerged in the Chinese central city of Wuhan, has now spread to almost everywhere, including Afghanistan.

Herat remains the country’s second worst-affected part behind Kabul, with 4,304 total coronavirus infections and 98 related deaths.

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