An Afghan activist is distributing face-mask in Herat

Afghanistan confirms five new cases of coronavirus

With four new cases of coronavirus infection confirmed in the western Herat province and one more in the central Daikundi province earlier today, March 15, the total cases of positive coronavirus raise to 16 in Afghanistan.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, Wahidullah Mayar, said that those tested positive with the pandemic disease have returned from Iran—Afghanistan’s western neighbor which is the third hard-hit country and hosts around three million Afghan refugees.

According to Mr. Mayar, Herat, Samangan, Kapisa, Balkh, and Daikundi are provinces where people have tested positive for the covid19. He added that 190 suspect cases of the virus have been diagnosed as negative out of 206 cases undergone medical tests in central testing centers in Kabul.

To prevent the virus outbreak, the Afghan government postponed opening public and private schools until April 19. The government has also called on the people to put back ceremonies like engagement and marriage events.

Speaking at a hearing session in the parliament, the health minister, Ferozuddin Feroz, warned that the epidemic disease is likely to spread among the MPs, suggesting a temporary break for MPs.

Speaking at the same hearing session, Feraidoon Barakzai, deputy minister of borders and tribal affairs, stated that around 12,000 refugees return from Iran on daily basis from Islam Qala and Nimroz borders.

Minister of Refugees and Repatriations, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, said during the hearing session that around 14 to 15 thousand Afghan refugees return from foreign countries on daily basis.

Speaking at the same hearing session, the acting foreign minister, Haroon Chakhansori, said that Afghan foreign ministry has suspended foreign trips. He noted that issuance of visa for foreign nationals has been restricted.