Geopolitical Architectures of the Pandemic
Afghanistan is a mountainous country located in South and Central Asia, it is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. It has a population of almost 38 million people, and 99.7% of this population identifies itself as Muslim, that being the case it is stated that almost all Afghanistan is Islamic.
Due to the covid-19 outbreak across Iran, at least 150,000 Afghans returned home in March, crossing the Islam Qala border in Herat Province. Together with 60,000 Afghans that returned from Pakistan crossing the Chaman and Torkham borders in just three days.
The Afghan government had spent $25 million to address the outbreak up until March. On March 14th, President Ashraf Ghani commanded the public to avoid large gatherings and to pay attention to hygiene. He also announced the release of 10,000 prisoners that were aged over 55 in order to prevent the spread of the disease even more.
The Afghan cabinet had decided on March 27th, that Kabul, the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, would undergo total lock-down from March 28th until April 18th. On April 17th, the lock-down was extended by three weeks until May 9th.
The Taliban launched a covid-19 public awareness campaign on March 29th in Logar Province, they also offered safe passage to health workers across Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Taliban enforced lock-downs in almost every affected district. Most of the people who were suspected of having this disease were immediately quarantined.
April started with medical aid from the United Arab Emirates and China. Later on, the World Bank approved $100.4 million to help Afghanistan. In addition to the €117 million that the European Union would provide for technical support.
As of May 11th 2020, there have been 4,687 positive cases, with 574 recoveries and a total of 122 deaths across all 34 provinces of Afghanistan due to the pandemic.