At least 37 suspected COVID-19 patients flee Afghan hospital

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At least 37 patients thought to be suffering from COVID-19, the illness brought on by the novel coronavirus, on Tuesday fled from a hospital in Afghanistan’s Western Herat province, a Health Ministry spokesperson said.

According to the ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar, the people in question are in isolation due to the virus.

They escaped from the hospital with the help of their relatives after beating up hospital staffers.

Mayar also criticized the police for not doing anything to control the situation.

Meanwhile a spokesman for Herat Governor Farhad Jellani, told dpa that a total of 38 people, the 37 mentioned earlier and one virus-infected person, escaped the hospital.

However, authorities managed to return seven of them back to the hospital. Efforts were ongoing to bring the rest back.

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According to the Afghan Ministry of Health, all those involved in the hospital break-out had recently returned from Iran.

However, it was not clear why they left the medical facility, but videos on social media suggested they were at odds with the hospital over their treatment.

The authenticity of the videos could not be verified independently.

The Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said the group was ready to fully cooperate with the Afghanistan Government and the international health organisations in preventing the spread of the virus corona pandemic.

(dpa/NAN)