Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
An Associated Press report says at least 200,000 Afghans living in Iran have been returning home in recent weeks because of Iran’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The account says the Afghan nationals in Iran are exiting “a country that is one of the world’s biggest epicenters of the pandemic to an impoverished homeland that is woefully unprepared to deal with it.”
The returning Afghans are going back home without being tested for the virus, AP says and will likely “create a greater outbreak in Afghanistan that could overwhelm its health infrastructure.”
Afghan officials say they fear Iran could possibly force as many as a million Afghans out of Iran.
The Intenational Organization of Migration says more than 145,000 Afghans returned home from Iran in March as the virus outbreak surged.
Iran has more than 58,000 coronavirus cases, while Afghanistan has 367, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Religious scholars in Afghanistan out rightly banned all sorts of congregations in the country amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling came in the form of a ‘fatwa’ religious decree through the Ulema’s (religious scholars) High Commission, endorsed by the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs.
It has urged people to stay at home and avoid going to mosques for five-time prayers. The decree has advised only a few close relatives should attend funeral prayers of a person who dies of the coronavirus.
This comes as the number of4 patients infected with the virus also known as COVID-19 surged over 367 on Monday.
Police in the capital city Kabul on Sunday set-up additional check posts to strictly implement the lockdown.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says the coronavirus death toll reaches to 11 in the country and the 18 patients have been recovered so far.
The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar in a press conference said that two patients at the age of 86 and 70 were the two victims in Balkh province.
In the meantime, Mayar also confirmed the death of an Afghan doctor infected by the coronavirus in Kabul.
He also rejected the rumours about the death of a young boy due to the coronavirus in Herat province.
Mayar added that 27 percent of infected in Afghanistan are women and the remaining 73 Percent are men.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed an Afghan doctor in one of the private hospitals in Kabul city, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) confirmed on Monday.
The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar confirmed that the virus has killed a doctor in one of the private hospitals in the capital.
According to Mayar, health authorities have collected samples from the remaining 20 doctors and healthcare providers in the hospital to make sure they are not infected.
This comes as the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country reaches to 367.
Pakistan has temporarily opened its border with Afghanistan on Monday at the request of the Afghanistan government.
“At the special request of Government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan has decided to allow the exit of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, wishing to go back to their country,” read a statement by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As per details, despite the spread of coronavirus, the Government of Pakistan has opened the Torkham border with Afghanistan, with hundreds of Afghan refugees have reached the Torkham border.
Border officials say the process of checking the border cross-documents of Afghan refugees has begun, only Afghan refugees in Pakistan will be able to cross the border.
However, as per border officials that Pakistanis in Afghanistan will not be allowed to cross the Torkham border.
The Torkham border will remain open until April 9.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says at least 30 new positive cases of coronavirus were registered in the country during the past 24 hours.
The spokesman of MoPH, Wahidullah Mayar on Monday said that the new cases include 16 in Herat, 6 in Kabul, 3 in Nimroz, two in Kunduz, two in Faryab and one in Daikundi.
According to Mayar Herat with 230 Cases and Kabul with 59 cases have the highest number of infected among other provinces.
This comes as at least 17 patients have been recovered from coronavirus so far in the country.
Pakistan’s Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Shehryar Khan Afridi has warned the World and the United Nations against developing human crisis in Afghan refugee camps due to prolonged lockdown situation amidst Coronavirus outbreak, says a press release.
The Pakistani minister made these remarks while speaking to media here at Afghan Camp after installing a walk through sanitation gate at the camp. The minister said that he had raised funds for helping out the Afghan refugees stranded in camps due to lockdown situation.
He said that on his request, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had already directed formation of a special relief package for Afghan refugees despite financial difficulties faced by the country.
“If Pakistan can roll out a special relief package for Afghan refugees, why can’t the developed nations come to the rescue of the besieged refugees. Afghan refugees migrated due to Afghan war under launched under UN umbrella. Now it is responsibility of the UN and the world to help these refugees,” he said.
The Minister said that he had written a letter to the Pakistan representative of United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, to immediately divert funds to provide food to besieged Afghans in refugee camps.