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Lockdown imposed in Kabul due to hike in COVID-19 cases

Kabul, March 28 (IANS) Afghan authorities have imposed a lockdown in the capital city of Kabul starting from Saturday for at least a period of three weeks as the country witnessed an increade in the number of coronavirus cases.

the lockdown comes a day after the Ministry of Public Health on Friday evening reported 15 new cases of the coronavirus in the country — 11 in Herat, three in Farah, one in Ghazni — which took the total number of infections to 110, reports TOLO News.

Two foreign diplomats and four service members of NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan were among the positive cases in the country, the Ministry said.

So far, the country has reported three coronavirus deaths.

Announcing the lockdown on Friday, Kabul Governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari said all residents must stay at home, avoid non-essential movements and avoid gatherings.

He said the residents should be ready to provide valid reasons, such as health or security needs, if they leave their homes.

He said all sports places, wedding halls, shrines and public gathering places would remain closed.

“All buses should stop movements in the city. All stores, except grocery stores, should remain closed,” TOLO News quoted the Governor as saying, adding that all government institutions in Kabul and in the province, except the Ministry of Public Health and the municipality and security institutions, will also be closed for at least three weeks.

Haidari estimated that over 25 million people were likely to be infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan and at least 16 million of them will show symptoms.

But he said the spread can be prevented if the restrictions were implemented.

–IANS

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