Humanitarianresponse Logo

Afghanistan Flash Update | COVID-19 | Daily Brief No. 48 | 28 May 2020

Key Messages: UPDATED

  • People confirmed to have COVID-19: 13,036 (as of 2pm, 28 May. Source: Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health - MoPH)
  • Deaths from COVID-19: 235
  • Samples tested: 34,936

Key concerns: Border crossing areas, in-country testing capacity, protective equipment for frontline workers, commodity prices, messaging and rumour management, international air services

Situation Overview: UPDATED

MoPH data shows that 13,036 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan are now confirmed to have COVID-19. Some 1,209 people have recovered, and 235 people have died. 34,936 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 seven 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 between the ages of 40 and 69 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, Kandahar and Nangarhar – which is emerging as a possible new hotspot. This underscores the reality that other health issues continue to affect the people of Afghanistan during the pandemic and drives home the need for support so that existing health and WASH services can continue to operate.

There have been issues with laboratories in Kandahar and Nangarhar this week that have meant they were unable to conduct tests for several days. According to WHO in the east, four out of five PCR lab technicians 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 is now back up and running. 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. The Kandahar Lab remains closed.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
World Health Organization
Original Publication Date: 
28 May 2020
Document type: 
Situation Report
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination