Over the past three days, more than 30,000 Afghan immigrants in Iran have entered the country through Islam Qala port in Herat province.
According to the Afghan minister of refugees and repatriation, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, up to 15,000 Afghan refugees return from Iran daily.
The coronavirus has so far taken the lives of 429 people in Iran, and thousands more have been infected.
Minister Balkhi, who visited Islam Qala port in Herat province on Thursday, said that six Afghan immigrants have died as a result of the coronavirus in Iran.
“We have had about six deaths of immigrants in Iran, but we do not have exact figures for those infected with the virus,” said Balkhi.
Seven positive cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Afghanistan, and the Ministry of Health says those affected have traveled from Iran.
Despite serious concerns about the possibility of people infected with the coronavirus coming from Iran, Noor Ahmad Mohammadi, head of the Islam Qala port health center in Herat, says only five fever gauges and two ambulances have been dedicated to Islam Qala port.
Some returnees from Iran say they have left everything in Iran and have returned to Afghanistan to escape the coronavirus.
“Afghans fear the virus has increased. The Iranians do not leave their homes, only the Afghans go out. There are many casualties, but they do not announce,” said Sheren Saljoqi, a returnee.
“Factory work in Iran is in decline. Afghans return to Afghanistan because they are afraid of the virus and because of the bad situation,” said Sayed Mohammad, another returnee.
Over the past three days, more than 30,000 Afghan immigrants in Iran have entered the country through Islam Qala port in Herat province due to fears of the coronavirus, and this high rate of returnees from Iran into the country has not been seen in the last decade.