Kabul residents economic loss along with three-week Isolation due to COVID-19 outbreak
Kabul, a city with nearly seven million residents, is calmer these days. Criminal and organized crimes in the Afghan capital may be declining these days. However, the latest challenge for Kabul citizens and the Afghan government is the spread and outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, which is on the rise every day in the country. In the last four days of Kabul Quarantine, Kabul has resorted to domestic isolation to save its residence from the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Government measures may help to combat this phenomenon, but the Quarantine of Kabul has caused dozens of people in the capital to suffer economic losses.
Esmatullah, a citizen of Kabul, is one of the people who is staying in home isolation in the last four days, and the COVID-19 outbreak has posed severe challenges for him and his family. According to him, the lack of economic opportunities and restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in Kabul has left hundreds of families asleep on a hungry night, and thousands of vendors unable to provide their one-time meal. “Unemployment and the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus is a gradual death for all of us who are suffering from the economic crisis and unemployment,” Esmatullah said. “The government must take immediate action to prevent the COVID-19 and must find a solution to prevent economic losses for the people of Kabul.”
These days, the capital is witnessing a strange silence, the city’s roads are less evidence of traffic congestion, and shops are entirely closed to customers. Recreation centers are no exception, and their owners have gone into house isolation to get rid of the COVID-19 virus. Rafiullah, an economics student living in Kabul, is horrified by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, saying that the spread of the disease not only causes serious harm to people but also families and ultimately to the community. According to Rafiullah: “Shopkeepers and those who work with daily income are seriously affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. We have people whose income is enough for a day, and now that they are isolated, they do not have enough meals to eat, and the losses due to the spread of the virus have affected their families. The current situation in the country has made it difficult for the Afghan economic cycle to move these days. The government does not have serious measures to prevent this disease.”
Hussein, who is a shoemaker and earns an average of nearly 300 afghanis a day, is worried about providing enough meals to his family to cover daily needs in Kabul’s isolated days. “In the few days of quarantine in Kabul, the government has ordered us to stay in our homes and do not come to work. I am a person who works on a daily base; if we do not work, what can we eat?” He said. “On the one hand, supplies price have risen in, a loaf of flour has reached 2,500 afghanis, while we used to get a loaf of flour in 1,400 afghanis; now tell us what the poor do and how to get through these days.” Hussein, who is a shoemaker has been sharply critical of the government’s weakness, adding: “The government needed to take action and provide supplies of foodstuffs in reserve so that it could take the hands of the poor in times of crisis, and all citizens would benefit from this.” “They would never go out and stay in their homes to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
Mohammad Dawood Malik is one of the restaurateurs who used to transport ready-made food to nearly 150 customers a day, bud due to Kabul quarantine, and his business has also faded. He says it is inevitable for all of his customers, who have been shipping more than 200 meals a day, now he prepares food only for 20 customers these days. “We prepared the food ready for our offices and customers,” he said. I had 5 to 8 employees, but due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, only my brother comes to work every day. On the one hand, I am not able to pay the employees these days, and on the other hand, the concern about the spread of Quaid-19 disease has caused everyone to go into home isolation. “In the last four days, I have suffered a financial loss of nearly 30,000 afghanis, which is very difficult for me to pay.”
But with the current opportunity, some big sellers and traders are raising the price of food, a case that has raised the anger of some religious scholars. These religious scholars say that exploitation in critical situations is unthinkable from the perspective of Islam, and those who seek profit are caught in the wrath of God. “Some traders are hoarding, which is a great sen, and according to the hadith of the Prophet of Islam, those who hoard are the worst people on earth,” said Maulvi Zikr al-Safi, a religious scholar who condemned the practice of hoarding in critical situations. “At this time, it is necessary for the merchants to have mercy on the people and to take the hands of the needy.” On the other hand, Mawlawi Abdul Shakur Faqiri, another religious scholar, considers it necessary for businessmen to cooperate with the poor in the current situation: “They have to help their people.”
Criticism of the rare increase in the days of Kabul’s isolation comes as official statistics from the Ministry of Public Health show that at least 196 positive cases of Quid-19 have been reported in most provinces in recent days. The crisis of COVID-19 disease will affect most people, in which case, the management of the virus will be a severe headache for Afghanistan.