'10M' COVID-19 Cases in Afghanistan: Health Ministry

"Ten million" Afghans have been infected with coronavirus in Afghanistan, said Ahmad Jawad Osmani, the acting health minister, on Wednesday, citing a recent survey.

Osmani at a press conference said that 31.5% Afghans have been infected with the coronavirus, which is about 10 million people, adding that 37% of the infected people were in the cities. 

The  breakdown of those infected was 32% women and 29% men, according to the survey of the MoPH. 
Before this, the MoPH officially announced that over 36,000 were infected with the coronavirus. 

The MoPH was also announced that so far 1,288 people have died of the coronavirus across the country while more than 25,000 others have recovered. 

A new report by a US watchdog released on August 1, said that the coronavirus pandemic is pushing millions more Afghans into poverty, overwhelming the country's basic healthcare system and causing food shortages while the country lacks the required medical equipment to treat patients diagnosed with the viral disease.    

The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said that only 300 ventilators were currently available across the country, with a severe shortage of oxygen supply in the capital.  

The watchdog warns that Afghanistan was “headed for a humanitarian disaster” as the virus continues to spread.  

The report says that Afghanistan had likely entered a recession because of the pandemic, with the economy projected to shrink 3 to 10 percent in  2020.

It added that about one-third of the country's estimated 32.2 million people were either in a crisis or an emergency state of food insecurity.  

“Experts predict that an additional eight million people will fall into poverty, pushing the poverty rate from 55 percent to 80 percent,” the report said.  

The report says that testing remains limited, but nearly 43% of samples test positive, one of the highest rates in the world.  

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Afghan government extended school closures until at least September  2020, threatening to halt fragile gains in Afghanistan’s education outcomes.