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COVID-19: Lockdown in Afghanistan

  • WHAT IS LOCKDOWN?

A State of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure.

  • Where did Covid-19 come from and how did it reach Afghanistan?

The first case of Covid-19 occurred in China, Wuhan province around September 2019 and was called pneumonia of unknown origin and the affected case was registered in January 2020.

The first case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in Herat, Afghanistan on 24 February 2020. According to a research and study of the positive cases in Afghanistan, it showed that the virus came from Iran.

  • How did China cope with this virus?

Once China came to know that it is a contagious disease, they made sure a complete lockdown of the province Wuhan where the first case was reported. They also started locking down the entire country, usage of proper personal protective equipment’s, educating the public regarding this deadly virus and the main rule was that the public ensures to follow the rules of regulation .   

  • How and when lockdown started in Afghanistan?

By the 18th of March, the Ministry of Public Health had registered at least 340 suspected cases of Corona Virus in 23 provinces since the start of the outbreak, but there was no lock down until the 24th of March.

Finally, on the 24th March, Kabul and other provinces enforced lockdown for three weeks.

The lockdown ensures that residents stay at home, avoiding all non-essential travel and gatherings. All areas such as restaurants, hotels, cafes and public gyms were closed except for banks and grocery stores. Even public transport carrying more than 5 passengers was banned. But still by the end of March, the cases were increasing dramatically.

  • Did Lockdown help in decrease the cases in Afghanistan?

Not really because people were not properly educated about the virus. They were not taking this virus seriously, crowded same as before, travelling continues to other provinces, people still praying in mosques without any protective measure. Which are the main reasons that now there are 8,676 cases of Corona in Afghanistan including deaths of 193. If I compare this with other countries the number might be less but the speed with which it is multiplying is alarming. To make it worse, I heard very bad news that the government is lifting lockdown in almost all provinces. In my point of view, it is not a good decision.

  • What will happen after the finish of this lockdown in Afghanistan?

People will be rushing to the markets, shopping malls. People will start travelling believing that the virus is over. But in fact it will create a mess. It will destroy all the hard work that were carried out in days of lockdown. In short, it can result in a second and more deadly wave of the attack.

Dr Shabnam Faiz.

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