Afghanistan records its highest daily increase in covid-19 cases

With 782 new cases of the covid-19 pandemic confirmed in different provinces over past 24 hours, the total number of people tested positive for the coronavirus has jumped to 9,998, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

Speaking at a press conference, today, May 23, a deputy health minister, Waheed Majroh, said that 1,040 patients who were infected by the virus have recovered so far.

With 11 new deaths recorded over past 24 hours, the covid-19 death toll has reached to 216.

Of 415 health workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus, 12 of them have died, the deputy health ministers said.

The dramatic increase comes as a loose lockdown placed in some major cities are almost lifted arbitrarily by the residents with most of shopping malls and markets are nowadays overcrowded ahead of Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Fearing a rapid spread of the disease, the country’s emergency committee to fight covid-19 has recently decided to impose the lockdown and movement restrictions in its strictest form during the Eid al-Fitr days in the capital, Kabul.

Moreover, the new decision stipulates that no one is allowed to travel from Kabul city to its districts and back during Eid-al Fitr days.

Three-stage plan to lift lockdown

According to a new government plan announced last week, the restrictions will be lifted in three short term, med-term, and long-term stages in Kabul.

In the short-term which is set to last for three months, all businesses are scheduled to remain open during three different shifts starting from 08:00 AM to mid-night (12:00 AM). Cars with odd-numbered license plates are only allowed downtown on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday and cars with even-numbered license plates are allowed downtown on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday.

In the mid-term, the exclusive hygienic measures for covid-19, social distancing should be observed and social gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited.

In the long-term, social distance, washing hands regularly, and encouraging distance learning and work from home are considered to be made a culture.