KABUL: Afghanistan has sealed its borders and restricted travel to and from the People’s Republic and also Tajikistan amid a novel coronavirus outbreak that has spread beyond even the figures reported for the country’s last deadly disease epidemic.
Authorities in northern Badakhshan province bordering China and Tajikistan have said borders with both the countries have been closed in a bid to prevent from an outbreak of coronavirus epidemic to Afghanistan.
Badakhshan public health director told Voice of America on Wednesday that five border points with China and Tajikistan – located in Ishkashem, Sheghnan, Nosi, Khawhan and Maimi districts – have been sealed. “We have deployed a health team in the borders to check all those entering the province,” he said.
The Chinese National Health Commission has announced that it has received a total of 24,641 cases of novel coronavirus, 3,223 (13%) instances of which were deemed to be severe. The contagious disease also known as 2019-nCoV has also killed at least 493 people, according to the commission.
Still, the World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern at a press conference Thursday.
With about 100 cases reported in around 19 countries, Beijing and international governments have taken measures to restrict travel in and out of China. Now the world’s most populous country has grown isolated as neighbors move to protect their populations.
Afghanistan has also set up special units across the country to provide care to patients with possibility of having contracted Coronavirus.