Afghanistan to face ‘health disaster’, US report
Afghanistan is likely to face a ‘health disaster’ from coronavirus, a report to US Congress has warned. It is feared that the country ravaged by years of war and in possession of a very poor healthcare system will struggle to cope with the outbreak.
The report, released by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko, has indicated that the virus has already had a devastating impact on the country. Borders have been closed making humanitarian deliveries difficult to fulfil and hampering commercial activity. The ongoing peace efforts are also likely to be hampered by the pandemic.
“Afghanistan’s numerous and, in some cases, unique vulnerabilities – a weak health-care system, widespread malnutrition, porous borders, massive internal displacement, contiguity with Iran, and ongoing conflict – make it likely the country will confront a health disaster in the coming months,” the report said.
In an accompanying letter, Sopko has raised concerns over rising food prices that will exacerbate the problem of malnutrition in a heavily impoverished country.
The number of cases in the country so far exceeds 2,000. The number of deaths currently stands at 64.