Afghanistan confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Monday and announced a state of emergency in the western city where the virus was detected, according to the Afghan Health Ministry.
On Sunday, Afghanistan closed its border with Iran and halted flights between the two countries after three men who recently came from Iran were suspected of being infected.
The three elderly Afghan men had crossed into the western province of Herat from neighboring Iran and were hospitalized Sunday after they showed signs of being infected with the virus.
Following blood tests in Kabul, Ferozuddin Feroz, the minister of public health, told a news conference in Kabul that one man was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Feroz said the man is in quarantine, under the care of doctors in Herat, where he announced a state of emergency after consultation with international health institutions and local authorities.
He said people living in Herat should avoid visiting other parts of the country and that those wishing to travel to Herat should refrain from doing so.
Herat’s public health chief, Abdul Hakim Taman, said he was concerned about the virus’s spread in Afghanistan on Sunday.
Thousands of people travel back and forth every day between Afghanistan and Iran for trade and employment and due to family ties. Afghan officials were testing all people crossing the border for coronavirus symptoms. But many use informal routes to travel between the two countries where screening does not take place.
Source: Washington Post