Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Afghanistan exceeded 4,000, triggered by the biggest one-day increase in infections in the country's third largest city, Herat.
Six patients died overnight, increasing the death toll from Covid-19 in the country to 115, with the total number of infections reaching 4,033, including 392 health workers. Six health workers died from Covid-19.
Of the new infections, 71 were recorded in the western province of Herat, which borders Iran. More than 250,000 Afghans have returned home from I ran – which has suffered more than 100,000 confirmed cases – since the beginning of the year, spreading across the country without being tested or quarantined.
This happens when Afghanistan's health ministry warned of a "major" human catastrophe in the midst of intensified war with the Taliban, which killed 43 civilians in the first 10 days of Ramadan.
Wahid Majroh, deputy health minister, said on Saturday that a "major human catastrophe will occur" if people continue to break the blocking rules, stressing that concerns have reached "the highest level".
Despite a government-authorized blockade in several provinces, cities are still crowded, adding to fears among experts that the true number of Covid-19 infections could be significantly higher than official figures.
About 529 suspected patients have been tested in the past 24 hours in the war-torn country, with 253 positive results. The deputy minister of health insisted that patients with severe symptoms were tested, adding that the ministry is increasing hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.
Ferozuddin Feroz, the health minister who was infected with the virus on Thursday, is in "good condition," said Majroh.
After three days of recording numbers below 20 in Kandahar, the number of transmissions has increased in the southern province, with 43 patients being positive. The capital, Kabul, which is the most affected area in Afghanistan, registered four new patients with Covid-19 in 43 tests, Majroh said.
Meanwhile, the war intensified across the country, when the police commander for Khost province was assassinated by the Taliban on Thursday night.
According to the country's Human Rights Commission, the war killed 43 civilians, including three women and two children, in the first ten days of Ramadan (April 24 to May 3) and wounded 73 others. The commission asked the sides in war that declared a ceasefire. The Taliban rejected several ceasefire offers to help fight the coronavirus.
The commission said that of the 43 people killed, "the Taliban is responsible for the death of 29 of them and the security forces are responsible for the death of one".