Afghanistan Situation Report: COVID-19 (September 2020)

Publication language
Date published
10 Sep 2020
Factsheets and summaries
COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Health, Needs assessment, System-wide performance

Latest country-wide situation report from WHO/OCHA in Afghanistan in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MoPH data shows that 38,544 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan are now confirmed to have COVID19. Some 31,048 people have recovered, and 1,420 people have died - 75 of whom are healthcare workers. Almost 10 per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases are among healthcare staff. 105,422 people out of a population of 37.6 million have been tested. The majority of the deaths were people between the ages of 40 and 69. Men in this age group represent half of all COVID-19-related deaths. Men account for more than 70 per cent of the total COVID-19 confirmed cases, although this may be the result of over-representation of men in testing. Due to limited public health resources and testing capacity, as well as the absence of a national death register, confirmed cases of and deaths from COVID-19 are likely to be under-reported overall in Afghanistan. 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 people generally not observing physical distancing protocols.

WHO notes that when health systems are overwhelmed, as is being seen in Afghanistan, both direct mortality from the outbreak and indirect mortality from vaccine-preventable and treatable conditions increase dramatically. WHO stresses the need to balance the demands of responding directly to COVID-19, with simultaneously engaging in strategic planning and coordinated action to maintain essential health service delivery, mitigating against the risk of system collapse.