By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The COVID-19 related death toll in Afghanistan increased by 30 to 357 while the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 20,000, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) confirmed in a daily statement on Sunday.
“A total of 1,427 tests were conducted within the past 24 hours, out of which 791 tests were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, bringing to 20,342 the number of all people infected, including 18,110 active COVID-19 cases,” the ministry said in a statement.
Since early Saturday, 30 COVID-19 patients died, the highest single-day hike of the death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in February.
“A total of 45 people recovered within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1, 875,” Wahid Majroh, deputy public health minister, said in the statement.
Majroh urged the people to adhere to the COVID-19 related restrictions in the country, particularly in the big cities, warning that the recent neglect of restrictions in the capital city Kabul had been a main factor for the increase of new coronavirus cases in the city as 313 new cases were registered in Kabul within a day.
Out of the infected patients, 19 patients were in severe condition and were under treatment in intensive care units across the country.
The statement urged Afghan citizens to wear face masks in crowded places, practice physical distancing and keep personnel hygiene.
“According to the latest measures adopted by the government and the MoPH on Saturday, wearing face mask in public is mandatory as of Saturday as the community transmission of COVID-19 has been increasing and the virus was circulating throughout the country,” Majroh noted.
“The emergency measures ended in some particular places. The small businesses and small and medium-range industrial factories can start operation but the prevention measures and guidelines must be strictly followed, including practicing social distancing of at least two meters, wearing face mask, washing hands, having body temperature,” he said.
A three-month curfew and quarantine in the country has ended late last month, however, deputy minister Majroh noted that schools, kindergartens and universities will remained close for another three months.
The official noted that buses and minibuses cannot resume transportation until the further notice. However, sedan and vans can carry passengers in the cities and along the main roads, but the vehicles must not carry more than four people, including the driver.
The country has faced difficulties in conducting COVID-19 tests in remote districts. As of Sunday, the ministry had the capacity of launching about 2,000 tests daily.
The ministry has been trying to increase the number of daily tests to 2,500, according to Majroh.
The ministry has conducted 47,327 tests since the start of the pandemic in February.