The Taliban voiced its concern over the outbreak of Coronavirus in Afghanistan, calling it god-sent for the 'disobedience and sins of mankind.' Through its directive, the Taliban urged people to pray, and surprisingly, asked its fighters to follow the safety guidelines issued by health organisations and experts.
"Coronavirus is a disease ordained by the almighty perhaps been sent because of the disobedience and sins of mankind or other reasons," the Taliban remarked. Further adding, "As per the directives of scholars- people should recite effective prayers."
Promising safe passage to healthcare organisations, the Taliban's statement read, "International relief, health, and humanitarian organisations should execute their obligation of sending necessary equipment, medicine and aid to areas under our control and we shall lay the groundwork for their secure travel."
The move was considered as unprecedented as the Taliban had previously banned the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in September 2019, claiming that the two organisations were conducting "suspicious" activities. Afghanistan confirmed 22 positive cases of Coronavirus.
Addressing the SAARC conference on mooting a common strategy to combat COVID-19 on Sunday, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Ghani, his country’s biggest vulnerability was the open border with Iran. Thereafter, he suggested various proposals such as creating a SAARC task force, a common framework for telemedicine, ensuring essential cross-border trade and India taking the lead in distance education.
In the thick of Coronavirus, which has managed to plunge the world into a state of a health crisis, even the Islamic State (ISIS) issued an advisory to tackle the disease in their weekly al-Naba newsletter. Although the set of guidances largely encompassed religious than scientific advice, the ISIS in an infographic also listed preventive measures to keep the disease at bay.
Joining the Coronavirus precautionary fray, ISIS further urged the infected fighters to not leave the area in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Calling it a "torment" sent by God, the terror organisation, in addition, said, "illnesses do not strike by themselves but by the command and decree of God." Though the ISIS has mostly lost control of most of its so-called caliphate in the Middle East, it still holds pockets of power in parts of Iraq and Syria.