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Kabul locks down over 6m people amid coronavirus fears

The capital Kabul shut down today (Saturday) as Afghanistan scrambles to contain an exponential spread of the virus

AT News

KABUL: Authorities have placed Kabul city with a population of more than 6 million people under stringent lockdown after few cases of coronavirus were detected here, as the war-wracked nation stepped up measures to halt the spread of the pandemic.

The lockdown begins Saturday and will continue for at least three weeks, said Kabul Governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari. Addressing a news conference, he stated that all Kabul residents must stay at home, avoid non-essential movements and avoid gatherings.

“All people should be ready to provide valid reasons such as health or security reasons if they leave their homes,” he said, “all sports places, wedding halls, shrines and public gathering places will be shut down”.

The governor said that all buses should stop movements in the city. All stores, except grocery stores, should remain closed. Moreover, all government institutions in Kabul city and in the province–except the Ministry of Public Health and the municipality and security institutions–will be closed for at least three weeks, he said.

He added that the lockdown plan will be put in place because Kabul has a large population and the coronavirus is spreading. He says the lockdown will go into effect Saturday.

It is estimated that over 25 million people will be infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan and at least 16 million of them will show symptoms. But he said the spread can be prevented if measures are implemented.

Acting interior minister Gen. Massoud Andarabi said all buses that carry more than four passengers will not be allowed to travel in Kabul or enter the city from other areas.

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