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COVID-19 Epidemiological Bulletin, Afghanistan - Epidemiological Week 18 (1 – 7 May 2022)

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Highlights of the week

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Feb 2020, a total of 579,366 samples have been tested for COVID-19 through the public laboratories in the country.

In week18-2022, 884 samples were tested in public labs, of which 97 samples tested positive for COVID-19 (percent positivity 11) and 2 new death was reported. This represents 54% decrease in cases and 100% increase in deaths, compared to week 17 2022, respectively (Table 1).

Cumulatively, 178,996 confirmed cases (overall percent positivity 30.8) of COVID-19 with 7,685 associated deaths (case fatality ratio = 4.29%) have been reported in Afghanistan since Feb 2020.

As of 7th May 2022, 90.4 %, cases have recovered.

In week 18, 2022, the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases were reported in the Central East and South regions (38 and 24 cases, respectively) (Table 2). The top five provinces that reported positive cases included Helmand (24 cases), Kapisa (19 cases), Nangarhar (11 cases), Logar (10 cases), and Kabul (8 cases).

The WHO supported building the in-country capacity for genome sequencing, after training of two national staff on sequencing techniques in Dubai (December 2021). The WHO supported the procurement of the Oxford Nanopore Sequencer with the reagents and consumables. Initially, the plan is to conduct genome sequencing for COVID-19, with a plan to expand it to include other high-threat pathogens. The team is currently working on processing the COVID-19 samples for sequencing, the results will be shared when available.

Overall, Afghanistan has reported 4,758 confirmed cases and 97 associated deaths among healthcare workers (HCWs) since 2020. To date, Herat, Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh and Kunar reported the highest number of positive cases among HCWs.