Coronavirus pandemic a grim addition to woes of people in Afghanistan

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
Delhi Updated: Jun 10, 2020, 06:54 AM(IST)

Men wearing facemasks as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus walk past a wall painted with images of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R), in Kabul April 5, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

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Battered by decades of civil war and now the coronavirus pandemic, Afghanistan continues to face one crippling crisis after another.

Battered by decades of civil war, the global fight on terror and now the coronavirus pandemic, Afghanistan continues to face one crippling crisis after another.

To control the spread of the Wuhan virus, the Ashraf Ghani government wants Afghanistan to live under restrictions for another 3 months.

But in a country battered by decades of violence, people have no choice but to go out and earn their daily bread. The pandemic has severely impacted the livelihoods of communities across the country and thousands of people are out on the streets and not even half of them are sporting a mask. 

Also Read: Afghanistan: Taliban struggles to control coronavirus spread despite earlier boast

Facing economic distress, workers, migrants, small business owners and the poor say they have no choice, but to work. Afghan government now faces a tough choice - whether or not to enforce the restrictions with an iron fist.

Afghanistan has officially reported over 21,400 cases and 384 deaths, but international observers and medics on the ground believe the real number of infections could be much higher.

Also Read: Emergency health measures saved millions in six coronavirus-hit countries: Study

There are parts of the country that are under the control of the militant Taliban group where it is hard for the government to access data.

An overall shortage of testing kits, medical supplies and a dilapidated health system were compounding problems in tackling the spread. 

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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