This report is produced by OCHA Afghanistan in collaboration with humanitarian partners via clusters. It covers activities carried out between 27 July and 9 August 2020.
As of 12 August, 37,345 people in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19; 1,354 have died and 26,694 have recovered.
Since the start of March, partners have medically screened 493,232 people at points-of-entry, reached 67,583 children with home-based learning materials and reached 223,515 people with psychosocial support to cope with the mental health effects of COVID-19 across the country.
MoPH data shows that as of 12 August, 37,345 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19. Some 26,694 people have recovered, and 1,354 people have died (58 of whom are healthcare workers). 97,199 people out of the population of 37.6 million have been tested. Almost ten 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 51 per cent of all COVID-19-related deaths. Moreover, men account for more than 71 per cent of the total COVID-19 confirmed cases, however this may be the result of testing bias. Kabul remains the most affected part of the country in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Hirat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces.
Complacency and failure to follow public health advice is creating grave risks in the community with markets reportedly busy over the Eid holiday and people generally not observing physical distancing protocols. Recent modelling on COVID-19 projections, developed by the Centre for Humanitarian Data in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and released on 29 July, suggests an increase in the number of cases in Afghanistan, including an increase in the number of severe cases and deaths, in the coming weeks if current preventative measures are maintained. Modelling further suggests a significant increase in severe cases (potentially up to 5x the number) should current preventative measures be lifted, creating grave implications for Afghanistan’s economy and people’s well-being. The Government of Afghanistan’s nationwide lockdown measures remain in place. However according to reports, public health advice is not being followed and 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.
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 and high price) has increased by 11 per cent between 14 March and 12 August, while the cost of pulses, sugar, cooking oil and rice (low quality) increased by 28 per cent, 22 per cent, 30 per cent, and 18 per cent, respectively, over the same period. FSAC partners have also noted that the purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists has deteriorated by 5 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively (compared to 14 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 period, ES-NFI Cluster partners identified 455 natural disaster-affected families in Parwan, Kapisa, Kunar and Nangarhar provinces to receive NFI assistance. 54,242 women received antenatal and postnatal care from midwives deployed through Mobile Health Teams (MHTs). 4,856 people were treated for trauma care by Health Cluster partners. 702 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 22,607 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). 3,372 children under the age of 5 years received blanket supplementary feeding. 10,071 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) received assistance through targeted supplementary feeding programmes (TSFP), while 12,369 caregivers received Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and maternal counselling during the reporting period. 527 community members received Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) counselling. 22 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases across 6 provinces were identified and referred for case management to Family Protection Centres (FPCs). 148 dignity kits were distributed to women and girls across 6 provinces. As part of its regular programming, WFP distributed food to 368,686 food insecure people between 23 July and 5 August.