Global COVID-19 cases passed the 10 million mark on 28 June – with the death toll surpassing 500,000 – as concerns mount over a dangerous resurgence of the disease in several countries.
As of 1 July, 31,836 people in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19; 774 have died and 15,651 have recovered.
Since the start of March, partners have screened 468,353 people at points-of-entry, delivered WASH assistance to more than 2 million people and reached 48,808 children with home-based learning materials across the country.
MoPH data shows that as of 1 July, 31,836 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19. Some 15,651 people have recovered, and 774 people have died (18 of whom are healthcare workers). 72,996 people out of the population of 37.6 million have been tested. Almost five per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases are among healthcare staff. The majority of the deaths were people between the ages of 40 and 69. Men in this age group represent more than half of all COVID19-related deaths. Kabul remains the most affected part of the country in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Hirat, Balkh, Nangarhar and Kandahar provinces.
The Government of Afghanistan announced on 6 June that it was extending the nationwide lockdown for three more months, issuing new health guidelines for citizens to follow. The Government has also extended the closure of schools for three more months until the end of August. Additionally, all hotels, parks, sports complexes and other public places will remain closed; certain public transport facilities, such as buses carrying more than four passengers, will not be allowed to travel. All government offices have reopened with public servants attending in two shifts and on alternate days. According to reports, while lockdown measures have officially remained in place, enforcement has been lenient. Measures to contain the spread of the virus continue to differ across provinces where local authorities decide on implementation of lockdown measures. While provincial lockdown measures continue to periodically impede humanitarian movement, the situation has significantly improved in the last few weeks, with fewer obstructions reported.
Humanitarians remain concerned about the impact of extended lockdown measures on the most-vulnerable, particularly people with disabilities and families who rely on casual daily labour and lack alternative income sources. According to WFP’s market monitoring, the average wheat flour price (low price & high price) has increased by 15 per cent between 14 March and 1 July, while the cost of pulses, sugar, cooking oil and rice (low quality) increased by 32 per cent, 22 per cent, 40 per cent, and 21 per cent, respectively, over the same period. FSAC partners have also noted that the purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists has deteriorated by 4 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively (compared to 14th March).
While implementing activities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, humanitarians continue to respond to other ongoing and emerging humanitarian needs. During the reporting week, 14,242 women received antenatal and postnatal care from midwives deployed through Mobile Health Teams (MHTs). 3,342 people were treated for trauma care by Health Cluster partners as conflict continues in many parts of the country. Five health facilities in contested areas were rehabilitated by Health partners. 2,159 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 6,658 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) during the reporting period. 2,366 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) received targeted supplementary feeding programmes (TSFP), whereas 2,904 PLWs received Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) counselling and maternal counselling during the reporting period. 820 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases were identified and referred for case management to Family Protection Centres (FPCs) across 17 provinces. Five unaccompanied and separated children were reunited with their families in Daykundi province. Protection partners provided legal assistance to 23 people in Kabul and Logar provinces. 243 dignity kits were distributed to women and girls across four provinces. As part of its regular programming, WFP distributed food to 414,253 food insecure people between 18 and 24 June.