Afghanistan + 2 more

Afghanistan Flash Update: Daily Brief: COVID-19, No. 49 (31 May 2020)

Situation Report
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Key Messages

  • People confirmed to have COVID-19: 15,205 (as of 4pm, 31 May. Source: Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health - MoPH)

  • Deaths from COVID-19: 257

  • Samples tested: 38,460

Situation Overview:

MoPH data shows that 15,205 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan are now confirmed to have COVID19. Some 1,328 people have recovered, and 257 people have died. 38,460 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 .

There have been issues with laboratories in Kandahar and Nangarhar that have meant they were unable to conduct tests for several days this month. The Kandahar lab remains closed after a problem with contamination of the facility. According to WHO in the east, four out of five PCR lab technicians there also tested positive for COVID-19 rendering the Jalalabad PCR lab temporarily out of service and causing delays in the processing of samples. Two technicians were deployed from Kabul and the Nangarhar laboratory has been back up and running for several days. A delegation from MoPH Kabul visited Jalalabad on 27 May where they engaged in a series of meetings to address COVID-19 challenges and gaps. Additional health staff are being trained in Jalalabad to help keep these critical services running and prevent backlogs.

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