KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Afghans still believe coronavirus is flue and think the government has introduced the infection in a dangerous way, but experts say coronavirus is not flue and is a reality.
In Afghanistan, the first positive coronavirus case was registered in late February this year and since then 51,360 positive cases have been registered and among them 2,126 people have died while 39,920 others recovered.
However, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) citing a survey had said over 10 million people got infected with coronavirus in Afghanistan.
Some people don’t believe in coronavirus:
Propaganda: Coronavirus is a new name of flue and painkiller medicines are enough for its treatment. Everything said about coronavirus is a government’s propaganda.
Abdullah Ahadi, a resident of Kakari locality in Pasabad district of Ghor province, said he did not believe coronavirus even existed and he usually attended social gatherings daily.
He said: “We the villagers don’t believe in coronavirus. We organize wrestling and gatherings at night, people don’t care about coronavirus because it is a common flu. Government leaders and governors want to earn money this way. If we get flue we can treat ourselves by using paracetamol tablets.”
Farid Ahmad, a resident of Herat’s Adraskan district, said: “In my view coronavirus is not as dangerous as it is being propagated. I think coronavirus is a project and when the government runs out of cash then it claims the virus is spreading in order to collect money. Coronavirus is a common headache and there is nothing to worry about.”
SeminGul, another resident of the district said: “No one believes in coronavirus in our district, people who wear mask are mocked and all believe that there is not coronavirus and it is not a fact.”
GhulamSakhi, a resident of Balkh’s Chamtal district, said: “I got flue 20 days back and experienced corona-like symptoms but it was just flue. Then I really became confident that there is no coronavirus.”
Fact: According to health experts, flue and coronavirus are both respiratory diseases caused by different viruses. They say flue spreads due to influenza virus.
Headache, fever, dry cough, vomiting, aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell and discoloration fingers or toes are common symptoms of coronavirus while fever symptoms include aching muscles, runny or stuffy nose and eye pain.
Kabul’s RabiaBalkhi Hospital’s doctor Prof. Dr. NabeelPakten said common flue is different from coronavirus and considering coronavirus similar to flue is not true.
He said coronavirus is not a government propaganda and the government is trying contain the spread of the virus at a time when Afghanistan is faced with the second wave of the virus.
He said coronavirus symptoms include breathlessness, fever, cough, muscle, and chest and body pains. Sometimes coronavirus patients suffer from sore throat.
He said in coronavirus the intensity of fever and pain is harder than common flue while people suffering from flue complain of aches and mild fever.
Dr. Pakten said in flue people don’t suffer from shortness of breath while flue lasts for three days and coronavirus attacks human body for at least 14 days.
Hedayatullah Rashid, who recovered from coronavirus two months earlier, said he experienced fever, dry cough, sore throat, flue, body pain and breathlessness.
“Due to strong body pain, I would offer prays without moving. I thought my legs had stopped functioning and during night I would suffer from fever.”
“I also suffered from shortness of breath and while asleep I could not breath, then I would go out of bedroom and would walk. I was unable to sleep well due to shortness of breath.”
He said before contracting coronavirus he had flue in which he suffered from sore throat and mild fever but not as heavy as coronavirus. He said after recovery from flue, all his aches had gone but fatigue from coronavirus lasted a long time.
Coronavirus is not propaganda but a reality: MoPH
Deputy Public Health Minister Masuma Jafari rejected the assertion that there was no coronavirus and that the government just wanted to terrify the masses. Many people did not suffer from coronavirus seriously but the virus was dangerous for elderly people and could cause their death.
Initially people considered coronavirus a common flue but after the deaths it caused, people realized that it was a realty and a dangerous disease, Jafari said.
The MoPH again asked people to implement health guidelines and precautionary measures to protect themselves from coronavirus. The most effective way is washing hands with soap several times during day.
“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”
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