COVID-19 Epidemiological Bulletin, Afghanistan - Epidemiological Week 19 (8 – 14 May 2022)


Highlights of the week

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Feb 2020, a total of 583,722 samples have been tested for COVID-19 through the public laboratories in the country.
In week19-2022, 4,356 samples were tested in public labs, of which 283 samples tested positive for COVID-19 (percent positivity 6) and 6 new death was reported. This represents 192% and 200% increase in cases and deaths, respectively, compared to week 18 2022, (Table 1). Reduction in different figures during week18 coincided with long Eid holidays following the month of Ramadan. Although all COVID-19 labs were functional during the week18 but most of the mild/moderate cases were not willing to go to the lab for testing, in addition to delayed reporting in the system due to Eid holidays.

Cumulatively, 179,279 confirmed cases (overall percent positivity 30.7) of COVID-19 with 7,691 associated deaths (case fatality ratio = 4.28%) have been reported in Afghanistan since Feb 2020.

As of 14th May 2022, 90.4 %, cases have recovered.

In week 19, 2022, the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases were reported in the Central East and East regions (69 and 55 cases, respectively) (Table 2). The top five provinces that reported positive cases included Kabul (43 cases), Nangarhar (43 cases), Parwan (28 cases), Kunduz (19 cases), and Zabul (19 cases).

The WHO supported building the in-country capacity for genome sequencing, after training of two national staff on sequencing techniques in Dubai (December 2021). The WHO supported the procurement of the Oxford Nanopore Sequencer with the reagents and consumables. Initially, the plan is to conduct genome sequencing for COVID-19, with a plan to expand it to include other high-threat pathogens. The team is currently working on processing the COVID-19 samples for sequencing, the results will be shared when available.