The Taliban in Afghanistan have gone to war with the coronavirus and are demanding their battle-hardened fighters wash their hands.
Officials from the militant group have been campaigning for awareness about the illness on their turf and criticising the government over the potential spread of the illness in Afghan prisons – which are filled with Taliban prisoners.
The Islamic group is also organising awareness camps in the areas they control and sent an appeal that jailed Taliban fighters be allowed to follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which include washing their hands.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told local media: “There are about 40,000 people living in prisons run by the Kabul administration where there are no hygiene or healthcare facilities, making it a serious threat.
“This virus can spread very easily in such conditions. If something goes wrong, it will be the responsibility of the Kabul government.”
He urged international organisations to help stop an outbreak in prisons with scores of cases already recorded across the country.
The group – which controls about 50 percent of Afghanistan – previously banned the WHO and the Red Cross from their areas.
However, Afghan officials claim they are working to protect prisoners and everyone in the country including in Tablian-controlled areas.
Dr Waheedullah Mayar, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Health Ministry told local media: “We even provide health services in insurgent-controlled areas to their children and women, and we will continue to do so.
A Taliban commander the northern province of Samangam told local media that their leadership was very concerned about the pandemic.
He said: “The Taliban are very serious about this sickness and our fighters are co-operating with public health centres and assisting doctors.
“We are asking all returning refugees and those coming from outside the country to get themselves checked.
“There was one suspicious case here and we made him get checked for the coronavirus. Thankfully, he tested negative.”
To find out more about the author, editor or agency, that supplied this story-Please click below. Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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