KABUL: At least 35 people including women and children have died in the past few weeks due to pneumonia outbreak in Badakhshan province in the northwestern mountainous area, provincial health department confirmed.
Dr. Noor Khawari, head of provincial public health department, said Saturday that the people had died in the Wakhan district, a remote area surrounded by high and impassable mountains.
He said that 15 of the dead were children, calling malnutrition and cold weather as the main reasons of the fatality.
A medical team had been dispatched to Wakhan to prevent further outbreak of the disease, according to Dr. Khawari.
The provincial council had earlier said that at least 10 people had lost their lives since an unknown disease had broken out in the Yomgan district.
The report caused panic and concerns among the residents as Coronavirsu in China that borders Badakhshan takes lives of people every day.
But the ministry of public health denied outbreak of any
unknown disease in Badakhshan, saying that the recent deaths happened only due
to pneumonia and pertussis (whooping cough) as well as malnutrition.
Badakhshan is one of the provinces where seasonal diseases like pneumonia and whooping cough breaks out during winter. The diseases claim lives of people in the remote areas behind high mountains as the roads connecting them to the provincial capital are blocked by heavy snowfalls.
Provincial health department has deployed medical teams to the borders with China and Tajikistan to examine those entering from the neighboring states and to prevent Coronavirus.