President Ashraf Ghani’s Address on precautionary measures to fight corona and deal with its risks and consequences

President Ashraf Ghani’s Address on precautionary measures to fight corona and deal with its risks and consequences

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

My honorable compatriots, dear sisters and brothers;

Unfortunately, we are facing the spread of the covid-19 contagion that has posed a serious threat to our interconnected world and plunged the global states, even developed countries, into huge challenges.

Since the disease outbreak, the Afghan government’s leadership took it serious and closely watched its evolution and the rising curve of its spread.

We in Afghanistan prepared our plans in advance and put practical measures in place even before registration of the first positive case of corona in the country.

Talking over the curve, the first objective is to convince people that Corona is an epidemic disease and its spread is tangible and critical.

In addition, we ramped up efforts to foresee and find out the spread level of the disease in provinces, urban areas and districts of the country. Indeed, we are at this level.

On the other words, we strive to assess and predict the upcoming stages of the virus spread, mainly when the infections reach the highest level known as the peak, to be able to prepare and deal with it.

Subsequent to the peak stage of the virus is the relief phase when the infection cases are slowing down. At this stage we will extend efforts to recover the losses, caused by the spread of the pandemic, and provide sustainable assistance to the people in need and reach out to the vulnerable groups.

My fellow countrymen/women;

On behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I assure the honorable Afghan nation that the government leadership, during this harsh circumstances, is in contact with multiple sectors on daily basis, aimed at issuing necessary directives and providing them with required items to help them fight the spread of the contagion and contain it in an effective and appropriate manner.

From tomorrow onwards, we will begin a discussion with the international community, particularly international donors and organizations, to see how we can align their former financial commitments and assistance to the course to curb the spread of Corona.

The government leadership has brought the issue under discussion and developed a coherent and realistic plan that will be shared in the cabinet meeting for further deliberation before its approval.

Today I particularly address public and private health care workers including doctors, nurses and health personnel as well as pharmacists, cooks and supporting staff of hospitals and clinics.

You are in the frontline of the fight against this invisible enemy and are heroes/heroines and devoted soldiers in this battle. I and the entire nation are proud of you. I extend gratitude to every single one of you and your honorable families who have sent you to fight the pandemic. I wish you all well-being and victory over this enemy.

Procedures and enactments have been approved in extraordinary meetings of the cabinet to ensure safety and further benefits and privileges for the healthcare personnel and their colleagues, and the relevant ministries and offices have been instructed to act upon them immediately.

Based on the decision of High Economic Council, isolation centers will be established all across the country to quarantine the patients suspected to be infected with the virus in accordance with the instructions of the health personnel.

Isolation and quarantine are now global norms. The experts at the World Health Organization and Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan insist that if you want to prevent a grave tragedy and disaster, you need to stay at your homes, avoid attending social engagements and gathering, and halt unnecessary movements and travel.

I expect and request all our compatriots to follow the instructions of the Public Health Ministry.

As a number of our fellow citizens have lost their jobs after imposing the restriction of movement and enforcing lockdown in urban areas, the National Development Company has begun a process to create employment opportunities for people of such in the capital.

The process will gradually expand at the capital and other provinces. It is noteworthy that all healthcare conditions and precautionary measures to prevent the corona spread in the workplace have been taken into consideration.

Fortunately, helping each other has been a core value of our rich culture, where Afghans have always lent a helping hand to their compatriots in need during the times of misery and difficulty. We can identify the poor and destitute families within the precinct of our neighborhood or village. Our fellow citizens have proved their generosity during the various circumstances and I hope you once again demonstrate this attitude of open-handedness by reaching out to the families in need.

I am delighted to learn about initiatives taken to help others; for instance, a food bank has been established in Herat province and people in Kama district of Nangarhar have pledged to share half of their food with the needy families in their neighborhoods even if the government cannot provide assistance.

I hope such initiatives serve as a source of encouragement for other provinces and districts to help their people.

We have issued special instructions to the National Security Council to ensure the safety of our defense and security forces and adopt necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus at the ranks of the forces. And I thank them for their precautionary measures in advance.

The UN Secretary General as well as several regional countries have called upon the warring parties to enforce a cease-fire to allow assistance delivery to the people affected as a result of the corona spread.

I call upon the Taliban to embrace the legitimate call by the UN Secretary General, countries in the region as well as the Afghan government and people and stop fighting and agree to a cease-fire.

Long live Afghanistan