Afghanistan + 2 more

Afghanistan Flash Update: Daily Brief: COVID-19, No. 25 (2 April 2020)

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Situation Report
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Key Messages:

• People confirmed to have COVID-19: 239 (Source: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of Afghanistan)

• Deaths from COVID-19: 5

• Tests completed: 1,807

• Key concerns: Border crossing areas, movement restrictions, testing capacity, protective equipment for frontline workers, commodity prices, floods, plans for camp and camp-like quarantine, strategic messaging and rumour management

Situation Overview:

According to Johns Hopkins University data, as of 2 April 952,171 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and 48,320 deaths have been reported across 180 countries and territories. The COVID-19 pandemic is straining health systems worldwide. WHO is calling on countries to balance the demands of responding directly to COVID-19, while maintaining essential health services. WHO has stressed that to defeat the virus, countries need aggressive and targeted tactics. Aggressive measures to find, test, isolate and treat cases, as well as trace contacts are not only the best and fastest way out of social and economic restrictions – they are also the best way to prevent them. WHO further calls to governments to put in place social welfare measures to ensure vulnerable people have food and other life essentials during this crisis. WHO, the World Bank and the IMF are calling for debt relief for developing countries, as many will struggle to implement social welfare programs at this time.

In Afghanistan, MoPH reports show that 239 people across 19 provinces are now confirmed to have the virus and five people have now died. Hirat is still the most affected part of the country, now with 184 of the confirmed cases. 30 of those confirmed to have the virus are health workers which indicates the vulnerability of frontline staff and the need for them to have adequate personal protective equipment. To date, MoPH reports that 1,807 tests have been conducted. To scale-up testing efforts,
WHO has supported the Government in the establishment of two testing facilities in Kabul, one in Hirat and one in Nangarhar province. Additional testing facilities are also expected to begin operations in Mazar-e-Sharif city (this week) and Kandahar and Paktya provinces (in the coming week). Altogether, the Government plans to expand to 15 test facilities across the country within the month.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.