10 million Afghans estimated to have contracted COVID-19: Health Ministry

KABUL, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — An estimated 10 million Afghans have contracted with COVID-19 since the pandemic started spreading nationwide in February, the county’s Ministry of Public Health said in a statement reaching Xinhua on Sunday.

According to findings of a national survey conducted by the ministry and based on antibody tests applied on 9,514 people and technically supported by World Health Organization (WHO), in 34 Afghan provinces, 10 million people, making nearly one third of the country’s population, have infected with the disease.

The ministry estimated 31.5 percent of the country’s population had contracted the virus, with the highest degree of infection in the capital Kabul, as more than half of the 5 million people in the city are infected.

Afghanistan, due to a limited testing capacity, so far declared slightly over 37,000 COVID-19 cases officially with more than 1,300 deaths after the pandemic emerged in western Herat province and engulfed the country.

“The survey would help us get better preparations for a possible second wave of the virus, as the second wave is happening everywhere in the world and we will not be an exception,” the ministry said on its website.

According to survey, 55 percent of population in Kabul province, including national capital Kabul city, 42.9 percent in eastern province, 36.3 percent in central provinces, 34.1 percent in southern provinces, and 32.4 percent western provinces, 21.1 percent in mountainous central provinces were infected with the illness, according to the survey.

The ministry went to say that 42.3 percent people living in cities and 31.7 percent in urban were infected with the disease.

The survey found that 30.8 percent children based in the cities and 23.4 percent children in urban areas have also been infected with the pandemic.

Laboratories across Afghanistan have completed 92,585 tests since February.



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