01 June 2020

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National Budget to be amended if Coronavirus Spreads: President

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Sunday, March 22, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani chaired a videoconference on Thursday to assess the COVID-19 outbreak in western Herat province, a statement from the presidential palace said.
Both vice-presidents, the president’s special advisor on trade affairs, the national security adviser, Herat officials, civil society activists and media representatives attended Thursday’s conference.
President Ghani has ordered preparations for dealing with any emergency situation, hinting at changes in the budget in case of need. All available resources would be used to battle the coronavirus, he said at the video conference on the government’s response to the virus spread in Herat province.
Herat Governor Abdul Qayyum Rahimi and provincial council members shared with the president their strategies for containing the COVID-19.
The officials said a team of experts from Kabul had arrived in Herat, where work is ongoing on a 100-bed hospital, according to the statement.
President Ghani said he would take stock of the coronavirus situation in every two days through video conferences with provincial officials. With regard to a proposal from Chinese advisors to quarantine Herat, the president suggested a comprehensive national debate on the topic.
"If Coronavirus gets stronger, we will change the entire national budget and go back to parliament. You have to pay attention to the private sector to be able to manage the situation,” the president told the meeting.
President Ghani directed the relevant organs to get prepared for a possible emergency situation. He assured the authorities concerned of full support from the government.

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