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A third of Afghans estimated to have contracted virus: health ministry

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Disinfecting for COVID Virus in Afghanistan (AFP)

Nearly a third of Afghanistan’s population — or 10 million people — has been infected with the coronavirus, according to health ministry estimates published Wednesday.

The figure comes from a survey based on antibody tests on around 9,500 people across the country, with technical support from the World Health Organization, health minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani said at a press briefing.

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The survey estimated that 31.5 percent of the population had contracted the virus, with the highest infection rate in Kabul where more than half of the city’s five million population were thought to have been infected.

But the country of around 32 million people has only limited testing capacity and has officially declared just 36,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths.

“A second wave of the infection is happening everywhere in the world and we cannot be an exception. We will use the findings of this survey to better prepare ourselves for a possible second wave,” Osmani said.

More than 18 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus since it first emerged in China late last year.

The virus entered Afghanistan in February as thousands of migrants returned from neighboring Iran, which at the time was the region’s worst-hit nation for the virus.

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Since then Afghanistan, already wracked by decades of war, has been ravaged by COVID-19.

A survey on the mortality rate of coronavirus Afghanistan is under way.


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Watching Fox News can be deadly — according to science

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Consuming the wrong news can kill you. That’s the fundamental insight of a powerful new study about the impact of watching either Sean Hannity’s news show Hannity or Tucker Carlson’s Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News: one saved lives, and the other resulted in more deaths, due to how each of these hosts covered COVID-19.

This research illustrates the danger of falling for health-related misinformation due to dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases. These mental blindspots impact all areas of our life, from health to politics and even shopping, as a survey by a comparison purchasing website reveals. We need to be wary of cognitive biases in order to make wise decisions about our health and our politics to survive and thrive in this pandemic.

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Donald Trump is biggest driver of COVID-19 misinformation: study

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US President Donald Trump has been the world's biggest driver of Covid-19 misinformation during the pandemic, a study from Cornell University said Thursday.

A team from the Cornell Alliance for Science evaluated 38 million articles published by English-language, traditional media worldwide between January 1 and May 26 of this year.

The database they used aggregates coverage from countries such as the United States, Britain, India, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and other African and Asian nations.

They identified 522,472 news articles that reproduced or amplified misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic, or what the World Health Organization has called the "infodemic."

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REVEALED: Jared Kushner co-owns real estate company that could profit from coronavirus

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When the reality of the coronavirus first hit U.S. headlines, President Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, put together a secretive "shadow task force" drawn from the private sector and handed out government contracts for medical equipment -- acting on his belief that "free markets" would solve the pandemic, not government. But according to a report from Mother Jones, "Kushner owns a large stake in a real estate company now poised to make money off the economic distress caused by the pandemic that Trump has been unable to tame."

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