Afghanistan + 1 more

Afghanistan Flash Update: Daily Brief: COVID-19, No. 1 (25 February 2020)

Situation Report
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Key Messages:

  • 1 confirmed case reported by Ministry of Public Health
  • 3 suspected cases reported by Ministry of Public Health
  • Key concern – border crossing areas in Western province

Situation Overview:

On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. On 30 January 2020 WHO declared the outbreak of novel Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Particularly, WHO raised alert of low and middle income country and the preparedness of potential outbreaks. On 24 February Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported one of four suspected cases had been confirmed in the Western province of Hirat with recent travel history from Qom, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The clinical conditions of the confirmed and non-confirmed cases are good.

Due to the recent events in Hirat, the focus of activities is now both on preparedness and containment mitigation. The Ministry of Public Health is working closely with WHO, Health Cluster partners and other relevant stakeholders to rapidly expand the in-country preparedness and containment capacity, strengthen the detection and surveillance capacity at points-of-entry into Afghanistan, such as airports and border-crossing sites (especially in the Western Region), to continue the training of medical staff on case-management and risk communication and community engagement, in order to prevent the spread of this outbreak. The level of support and activities in all key areas will need to be expanded rapidly.

The border between Iran and Afghanistan was partially closed on 23 February leading to confusion. The border reopened to population movement February 24. Further details are expected to be shared in the coming days.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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