Kabul, April 20 (IANS) Built a century ago and located in the western edge of Kabul city, the Darul Aman Palace has been formally turned into a hospital to treat patients infected with novel coronavirus in Afghanistan.
“The historic palace turned into an isolation facility with 200-bed for the COVID-19 infected patients,” the country's Public Health Minister Firozuddin Feroz said in his opening remarks in the castle on Saturday.
Badly damaged in conflicts and reconstructed in 2019, the European-style palace was designed to accommodate government's functionaries' meetings and also serve as guest house for high ranking guests, reports Xinhua news agency.
But the palace, which sits directly across from the Afghan Parliament, from now on will serve as a hospital until the virus is wiped out of the country.
To contain the spread of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, the government has established scores of isolation centres and health clinics to provide services for the infected patients.
Expressing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry Wahidullah Mayar told Xinhua on Sunday that the number of patients infected with COVID-19 has reached 993 and could soon surpass 1,000 if the people neglect the ministry's advices or violate the regulations imposed during quarantine period.
The government has imposed daytime curfew in cities including Kabul since late March and extended for three more weeks last week, calling upon the citizens to stay at home.
According to Mayar, 33 COVID-19-affected patients including three doctors have died and 131 others have recovered since the outbreak of the virus in mid February in Afghanistan.