Afghanistan + 2 more

Afghanistan: COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Response Operational Situation Report, 3 June 2020

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases 17,267 people across all 34 provinces. 294 people have died and 1,522 recovered.

  • Since the start of the crisis, partners have medically screened 324,564 people at points-of-entry, delivered WASH assistance and hygiene promotion activities to more than 1,092,889 people and sensitised more than 896,846 people on COVID-19 and preventive measures across the country.

  • Protection partners report that child protection issues have been increasing due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Moreover, there is a rise in exploitation of children, including child labour, as a negative coping mechanism, with children aged between 10 and 16 years increasingly involved in carrying loads, shoe polishing, car washing and collection of garbage in the street, exposing them further to risks of contracting COVID-19.

  • Protection partners also note that women and girls are struggling due to their limited access to markets to buy hygiene and dignity kits due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. Further efforts are needed to reach vulnerable people with these supplies.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

MoPH data shows that 15,451 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19. Some 1,522 people have recovered, and 297 people have died. 42,273 people out of the population of 37.6 million have been tested. 13 healthcare workers are among those who have died from COVID-19. More than five per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases are among healthcare staff. The majority of the deaths were people between ages of 40 and 69. Men in this age group represent more than half of all COVID-19-related deaths. With a fragile health system, a developing economy and underlying vulnerabilities, the people of Afghanistan are facing extreme consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases are expected to continue to increase over the weeks ahead as community transmission escalates, creating grave implications for Afghanistan’s economy and people’s well-being. Kabul remains the most affected part of the country in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Hirat, Balkh, Nangarhar and Kandahar. Other health issues continue to affect the people of Afghanistan during the pandemic and continued support is needed to ensure that existing health and WASH services are not interrupted.

The Government of Afghanistan announced on 2 May that it was extending the nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Current nationwide lockdown measures are being reviewed. Measures to contain the spread of the virus continue to differ across provinces, with provincial authorities having been given the authority to decide on and implement their own lockdowns. While a number of provinces have already begun easing their lockdowns (e.g. Kandahar, Hilmand and Ghazni, Badakhshan, Khost, Paktya, Kunduz and Takhar provinces) formally or informally, other provinces, including Balkh and Samangan provinces, revised previously relaxed measures and reinstated a full lockdown from the end of May as the number of infections began increasing.

Throughout the country, these ‘measured lockdowns’ have resulted in closures of sections of each city, increased numbers of checkpoints and/or imposition of movement limitations. Reports indicate that despite assurances by the Government that these would not limit critical program movements of NGOs and the UN, the measures continue to impact on the mobility of humanitarian organisations, delaying the delivery of assistance and negatively affecting access to humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian partners remain active in responding to crises throughout the country and continue to urge the Government to employ a national approach to these movement issues so that individual negotiations are not required on a case-by-case basis.

Humanitarians remain concerned about the impact of extended lockdown measures on the most-vulnerable, particularly families who rely on casual daily labour and lack alternative income sources. According to WFP’s market monitoring, the price of wheat flour (low price) has increased by 17 per cent between 14 March and 31 May, while the cost of pulses, sugar, cooking oil and rice (low quality) increased by 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 24 per cent, and 6 per cent, respectively, over the same period. FSAC partners have also noted that the purchasing power of casual labourers has deteriorated by 14 per cent (compared to 14th March).

While implementing activities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, humanitarians continue to respond to other ongoing and emerging humanitarian needs. Conflict and natural disasters across the country continue to displace thousands of families, compounding pre-existing vulnerabilities and making people potentially more susceptible to serious consequences from COVID-19. During the past week, ES-NFI partners have provided cash-for-livelihood assistance to 310 families in Bamyan province. 130 families were verified by ES-NFI partners as eligible to receive emergency NFI assistance. 3,924 people were treated for trauma care by Health Cluster partners as conflict continues in many parts of the country. 15 Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) were delivered to contested areas; the kits will be able to reach more than 150,000 people with essential medicines. 3,649 women in hard-to-reach areas received antenatal care from midwives deployed through Mobile Health Teams (MHT). 804 women and girls were provided with dignity and sanitary packages in Kunar, Faryab and Balkh provinces. 12 GBV cases were identified and referred to Family Protection Centres (FPCs) in Kandahar province. 10 boys without parental care, including returnees, were provided with interim care, psychosocial support and reunified with their families by Protection partners. Additionally, 41,287 children aged 6-59 months received Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) lifesaving treatment services between March and May 2020 from Nutrition partners. Similarly, 84,815 children aged 6-59 months received Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) lifesaving treatment during the same period. As part of its regular programming, WFP continued to respond to ongoing food needs and has distributed food to more than 379,506 food insecure people between 14-20 May

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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