Although several waves of the Covid-19 epidemic have been experienced in many countries and this disease has killed many people in the world, still, a number of citizens of Afghanistan, with disbelief, consider this disease to be a type of flue or a simple rash and say that Covid-19 does not exist at all and is a conspiracy.
In recent days, there has been talking of a new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but a number of people mocked it on social media and real-world and either denied its existence or thought it was a rumor.
It should be mentioned that the process of spreading rumors started at the same time as the first case of Covid-19 which was registered in Herat on 24th of February 2020, and so far many citizens have been at a crossroads between reality and rumors.
Masouma, a resident of Kabul city, despite the fact that she has heard the news about the new pandemic wave of the Covid-19 virus and has followed the news about the Omicron type of this virus in the national and international media, but considers the spread of the Covid-19 virus as a kind of man-made propaganda.
‘Covid-19 disease does not exist. Covid-19 is man-made. This is a belief created by some groups.’
At the same time, 28-year-old Sosan, a resident of Ghazni Province, considers Covid-19 to be a common cold and says that this disease does not pose any danger to people.
‘Covid-19 disease is not something serious at all. This is a normal flu infection and does not pose a serious threat. Those who have died are because of the fear of this disease. This disease has been exaggerated.’
In addition, there are a lot of disbelieving words about this disease on social media.
Ahmad Ali Forotan posted on his Facebook page that ‘In my belief, the Covid-19 virus in Afghanistan is an excuse to get international aid and at the world, it is an excuse to control air pollution, which by quarantining people, they try to avoid the production of factories and prevent the air pollution for a while.’
The Source of Income and Pressure
During the epidemic of the previous waves of Covid-19, there were rumors that the previous government bought corpses and buried them in the name of Covid-19 victims in order to receive the aid allocated to Covid-19 victims.
Although these rumors were rejected at that time, Covid-19 and similar diseases are still known as a project of income.
One of the citizens named Hadi Ebrahimi says that this virus was created by China to put pressure on other countries and control the world’s economy. According to him, some pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of masks, disinfectant wipes, and gloves in the world benefited from this issue.
‘It didn’t exist in Afghanistan at all, and the rumors about the arrival of this disease were due to receiving international aid. They have magnified this disease in Afghanistan and scared the people. Covid-19 doesn’t exist at all.’
At the same time, Alireza Soltani has the same opinion on this matter: ‘Believe me, there is no Covid-19 and it is a conspiracy to fill the pockets. The previous government used this disease to get points, you are a witness. Now that the aid is stopped, there is no Covid-19 virus and everything is alright.
The Covid-19 Patients Experience
Although there are many rumors that the Covid-19 virus is unreal, a number of citizens have accepted and confirmed the spread of this disease. They have shared their experiences of being infected themselves or their family members on social and other media.
Hamid, one of the residents of Bamyan, posted on his Facebook page: ‘When I took my mother to the hospital, her condition was very bad. Her Covid-19 test was positive. Covid-19 was a very bad experience for us. Unfortunately, as a result of this disease, my mother died. If we had taken this disease seriously from the beginning, maybe we wouldn’t have lost my mother.’
Also, Habibullah Rezaei, one of the residents of Kabul, who has had a difficult experience with the Covid-19 virus, says: ‘The first time the Covid-19 virus spread in Kabul, I didn’t believe it at all; I thought it was a lie. Until I got a cold and had a fever. I had a severe cough, watery eyes, and nose, and over time I also had shortness of breath. I gradually became weak, I didn’t like any food, and I couldn’t smell anything. I was transferred to the hospital. They attached an oxygen mask to my mouth and I was hospitalized.’
Do Not Believe in Rumors
Officials of the Ministry of Public Health are also worried about people’s disbelief and say that despite the continuous campaigns by this ministry, some people do not want to accept it and do not take this disease seriously.
Experts emphasize that Covid-19 is a pandemic virus and so far its spread has left many casualties around the world.
Dr. Sharafat Zaman, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health, says that the first case of Covid-19 in Afghanistan was recorded on the 24th of February 2020, and since then more than 180 thousand people infected with this virus and more than 7800 people have been died due to this disease in Afghanistan.
According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health, at the peak of this disease outbreak in Afghanistan, up to a hundred people lost their lives each day.
He added that there is some disbelief in society about Covid-19 disease and similar diseases, which makes people not take the risks seriously.
‘Covid-19 disease is a serious threat. This disease is not a rumor and we witnessed a large number of people being infected with this disease and its casualties. About eight thousand of our compatriots lost their lives and more than seven million people died from this disease in the world.
He asks people not to believe in rumors and pay attention to healthy recommendations to avoid diseases.
At the same time, Dr. Nematullah Barakzai, the chief physician of Afghan Japan Hospital, says about the current and previous patients of this hospital: ‘A total of 30 to 40 people suspected of Covid-19 come to this hospital every month, but during the epidemic of the previous waves of Covid-19, the number of visitors was much higher, for example, in the past, 200 to 300 people visited daily.
He also asks people not to believe the rumors, because according to him, based on scientific research, Covid-19 not only exists but is a dangerous and epidemic disease.
‘The existence of the Covid-19 virus has been proven in scientific research, and this disease has many differences from other diseases in terms of the speed of spread and severity. Same as we have seen the casualties caused by it in the world and in Afghanistan.’
He adds that due to the implementation of the vaccine, the recent wave of Covid-19 does not have the strength and spreading speed of the previous waves. He still emphasizes that people should take Covid-19 seriously in any case.
According to scientists’ research, so far only seven of the 40 types of Covid-19 viruses have been identified in humans, three of which are; SARS, Mers, and Covid-19 are dangerous for humans.
The Covid-19 virus first broke out in Wuhan, China. In early 2021, a World Health Organization delegation visited this city and reported that the disease most likely spread to humans through the supply and use of infected meat from wild animals and, most likely, bats.
According to experts, people over 60 years old, people with a weak immune system, and people with a history of long-term illness such as; heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, or blood pressure, are more at risk of this disease.
According to the reports of the World Health Organization, nearly 16 million people around the world have lost their lives due to the Covid-19 virus.
Translated by: Shir Ali JafariFollow TKG on Twitter & Facebook