Oxygen in short supply in Afghanistan as country battles third wave of COVID-19

Oxygen is in short supply in Afghanistan as the country is battling a third wave of COVID-19 cases and its hospitals are being overrun.

Health ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigir Nazari told The Associated Press that the government is working to install more oxygen supply plants in 10 provinces where up to 65 percent of people tested in some areas are positive for COVID-19. 

According to the AP, Afghans are banging on the doors of suppliers, begging for their oxygen cylinders to be filled for suffering loved ones; however, the country is running out of cylinders as well, with Iran sending 900 on Saturday and Uzbekistan sending 1,000 last week.

Afghans wait outside oxygen plants to get their tanks filled, as doing so costs roughly $5 there versus roughly $50 in the market, AP noted.

The reported case count is more than 100,000, and reported deaths number more than 4,000, but health officials say they’re much higher. 

The outbreak has even sent the U.S. Embassy in Kabul into lockdown. There are 114 people in isolation, several employees have been medevaced and one person has died in the embassy.

Tags Afghanistan coronavirus Coronavirus COVID-19 Oxygen

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