Afghanistan lacks equipment to detect Omicron variant


Kabul, Dec 30 : The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan said that the country does not have equipment to detect Omicron, adding that it has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide testing machines for the new fast-spreading Covid-19 variant. Both Pakistan and Iran, the two countries that share borders with Afghanistan, have confirmed cases of the new variant, reports TOLO News. "Omicron is not distinguishable by the PCR machines that we have now, it requires more developed machinery. We have contacted the WHO and they have promised to provide these machines for us by the end of January 2022," Javed Hazher, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, health workers have said that the fight against the virus should not be ignored as Afghanistan is struggling with economic and political challenges. They added that that neglecting the pandemic will lead to many people to be infected with the Omicron variant. "The economy and political problems caused Covid-19 to be ignored and not taken seriously. A crisis will happen if we do not face the latest wave of the coronavirus triggered by the Omicron variant," said Ahmad Jawad Fardeen, a doctor. According to WHO figures, Afghanistan has so far registered 157,998 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 7,355 deaths, while a total of 4,674,518 vaccine doses have been administered. /IANS


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