COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan

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COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan
Afghanistan 2020 COVID-19 Map (Allio-19).png
Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Province of Afghanistan as of 5 May 2020
  Confirmed cases 0
  Confirmed cases 1–9
  Confirmed cases 10–19
  Confirmed cases 20-49
  Confirmed cases 50-99
  Confirmed cases ≥100
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseHerat
Arrival date24 February 2020
(2 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Confirmed cases5,226
Active cases4,446
Government website

The Chinese pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Afghanistan in Herat, was confirmed on 24 February 2020.[1]

Numbers[change | change source]

As of 14 May 2020, there have been 5,639 positive cases, with 691 recoveries and 136 deaths across all 34 provinces in the country. Kabul Province has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan at 1556, followed by Herat with 935 cases, and then Kandahar with 613 cases.[2]

People returning from Iran[change | change source]

In March 2020, at least 150,000 Afghans returned from Iran, due to the outbreak across the country, at the Islam Qala border in Herat Province.

As many as over 1000 people a day crossed the border during the month. Between March and April 2020, the number of cases increased in Herat Province to over 200 cases.[3][4][5][6][7]

At the Chaman and Torkham borders, over 60,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan in three days.[8]

Response[change | change source]

On 14 March, President Ashraf Ghani, told the public to avoid large public gatherings and to pay attention to hygiene to prevent the spread of the disease.

On 18 March, the Ministry of Interior Affairs banned all large gatherings, including the closure of venues that attract large crowds such as entertainment places, sports grounds, swimming pools, fitness clubs and wedding halls.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Afghanistan confirms 1st case of coronavirus". Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  2. "Current Cases of COVID-19". Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  3. "Coronavirus: Herat emerges as Afghanistan's epicentre". Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  4. "From Iran's hot zone, Afghans flee home, spreading virus". 2020-04-05. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  5. "Helping the most vulnerable return home to Afghanistan - Afghanistan". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  6. Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Coronavirus – Now is not the time to forget Afghanistan and its neighbours". UNHCR. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  7. "Coronavirus outbreak fears in Afghanistan amid influx from Iran". Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  8. Asher, Saira (2020-04-09). "The porous borders where the virus cannot be controlled". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-04-14.