Need to Build Refugee Camps to Contain Virus in Eastern Borders

The camps are supposed to accommodate Afghan refugees fleeing violence at home, while isolating those infected with the coronavirus
Need to Build Refugee Camps to Contain Virus in Eastern Borders
Need to Build Refugee Camps to Contain Virus in Eastern Borders

Health Minister Saeed Namaki on Sunday called on military forces to set up camps at Iran’s eastern borders to accommodate Afghan refugees fleeing violence at home while isolating those infected with the coronavirus.
“We need to build camps for the displaced who are taking refuge within our borders due to political and military conflicts,” Namaki was quoted as saying by ISNA.
After two decades of war, the United States and its allies are withdrawing forces from the war-torn Afghanistan, giving Taliban fighters free reign to seize control of many districts across the neighboring country.
Last week, the Taliban took hold of a key border crossing with Iran, triggering the flight of Afghan forces and customs officials to Iran’s eastern provinces.
Namaki said, “Returning [the displaced] is no easy task. We need to have camps to contain the infection and the infected.”
Afghanistan’s health ministry announced last week that half of all Covid transmissions in the neighboring country is caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
The new mutation, first found in India, has spread to over 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces, triggering a fifth wave and spiking cases and hospitalizations, especially in southern and eastern provinces. 
Pointing to unregulated eastern borders, Namaki is enlisting the help of law enforcement, the Army, Basij volunteer forces as well as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to house Afghan refugees in temporary accommodation. 
The minister noted, “We treated 250,000 Afghan nationals with severe Covid symptoms during the pandemic for free.”
“Today as another humanitarian act, we need to [manage the camps] with the help of military forces and Basij volunteers forces,” he added.



Hospitalizations Soar

Despite health authorities’ warnings, the Delta variant has travelled from eastern and southern areas to central and northern parts of the country, increasing the case tally in the capital.
“For the first time in the past few days, hospitalizations crossed the 6,000 mark in Tehran, with the number of hospitalized patients reaching 6,246,” head of Tehran’s coronavirus taskforce, Alireza Zali, told IRNA.
The capital, along with 142 other cities, have been placed on red alert and the government has reimposed restrictive measures to curb the outbreak. 
According to head of Tehran’s City Council, Mohsen Hashemi, the capital’s daily deaths is nearing the 100 threshold.
The Health Ministry recorded 17,600 newly identified coronavirus cases and 165 fatalities throughout the country on Sunday, taking the total number of cases and deaths to 3.373 million and 85,860, respectively.
Iran has imported some ten million vaccine jabs from various sources in the past four months to contain the disease and immunize its population of 85 million people.
 So far, 2.144 million Iranians have been fully vaccinated and nearly 4.7 million have received a first dose.
The national vaccination drive is expected to pick up speed this week as the Health Ministry called on residents over the age of 65 to submit their information for a vaccine turn. 

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