Afghanistan, already beset with problems, faces virus
But over the past several days, with 22 cases of the coronavirus confirmed nationwide, the impact of the pandemic has begun to hit home. Now, the divided government and its desperately poor health system must grapple with a crisis that is bringing life to a halt in the West — and it must do so while contending with a militant group vying for power across half of the country.
The country’s 22 cases have been linked to Afghans returning from next-door Iran, a country that has been hit hard by the virus, with nearly 1,000 deaths. In the past week alone, more than 50,000 Afghan refugees and workers have flooded back from Iran, mostly to escape the virus, with few border controls and no medical checks.
Pakistan, another neighboring country and a crucial source of imports, closed its border with Afghanistan this week, sending food prices skyrocketing and panicked shoppers emptying markets. Pakistan has also has a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, to nearly 200 over the past week, most …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]