KABUL, Afghanistan

In a vital financial relief, Afghan government on Thursday waived electricity bills for select groups in the capital Kabul for two months amid a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement for many in Kabul, the biggest city and major electricity consumer in war-ravaged country, came from provincial governor Mohammed Yaqoob Haidari.

In a televised news conference, Haidari said the Emergency Committee for Prevention of COVID-19 set-up by President Ashraf Ghani has already paid the power utility for bills of the past two months for over 350,000 families.

“The 350,000 families make up about 50% of utility users in Kabul […] the decision would benefit more than 1.5 million Kabul residents and bring them some fiscal relief,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in the country confirmed 580 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 13,036.

The ministry said eight coronavirus patients died over the past 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 235.

So far, the Ministry of Public Health has conducted a total of 34,936 tests, it added.

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