Covid-19 in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, called a graveyard of empires, has been in war for decades. The war in Afghanistan created a riffle of turmoil and instability. After USSR withdrawal from Afghan soil, Taliban recaptured most part of Afghan territories. Clashes between Afghan military and Taliban have become a daily routine.

Afghanistan paid a heavy cost in the shape of human lives, roughly 100,000 civilians died as a result of war. Foreign interventions too shaken the very foundation of Afghanistan.

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Most recently, a historical peace deal was signed between Taliban and USA. Having failed through militaristic approach, USA turned towards the negotiation table. After 18-month talks, there came a peace deal. The deal is yet to be implemented.

In addition, the deadly contagion, named as coronavirus, has managed to spread from one country to another. Afghanistan also fell prey to Covid-19. Herat, a province closed to Iranian border, is the epicentre of Covid-19 in Afghanistan through which Covid-19 spread to other parts of Afghanistan.

Both economy and health infrastructure of Afghanistan are fragile because of war. At present, Afghanistan runs short of both resources and medical facilities simultaneously.

As per the reports, Afghanistan only has 300 ventilators for critically ill people. The Covid-19 cases in Afghanistan are increasing exponentially. As of April 19, the number of Covid-19 cases were 993 and death toll was 32. As lockdown was put in place, people were asked to stay at home to curb the spread.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan does not have special quarantine centres and isolation wards for coronavirus-affected patients.

Moreover, Afghanistan is highly depend on foreign aid. Recently, America cut $1 billion aid of Afghanistan: as a consequence, Afghanistan economy suffers a lot. Afghanistan with meagre resources is unable to provide relief package to daily wagers as country remains under lockdown. It is crystal clear that if situation spirals out of control, Afghanistan will register more deaths than caused by war.

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Qasim Jan


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