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Afghanistan turns iconic palace into isolation facility

Number of coronavirus patients in landlocked country reaches close to 1,000 with 30 deaths

Shadi Khan Saif   | 18.04.2020
Afghanistan turns iconic palace into isolation facility

KABUL, Afghanistan 

Afghanistan on Saturday turned the iconic 19th-century Darul Aman palace in Kabul into an isolation facility with 200 beds for coronavirus patients.

According to Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz, the center will be set up to treat bedridden patients with coronavirus symptoms.

“The government has begun efforts to establish isolation centers with a 10,000-bed capacity for COVID-19 patients across the capital Kabul and aims to set up 100,000 beds in the country,” he said.

According to him, the center will not be equipped as a hospital, but as a "sanatorium" where health workers would serve coronavirus patients in isolation. He acknowledged that there is little capacity in the country in terms of staff and resources to tackle the pandemic.

The iconic palace got destroyed during the civil war in the 1990s, and was last year renovated in line with 100th Independence Day.

As per official figures, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in the country reached 933 on Saturday, with 30 deaths and 116 patients recovering.

Amid escalating cases of the coronavirus, Afghan authorities on Friday extended the lockdown in the capital Kabul for three more weeks.

The lockdown in Kabul was first declared last month, but widespread violations forced the Interior Ministry to deploy police to enforce it.

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