To prevent the spreading of the coronavirus, Uzbekistan has blocked its border with Afghanistan, local Afghan officials said.
However, flights to and from Mashad city in Iran are ongoing.
“This morning, the border with Uzbekistan was closed by the Uzbekistani side,” said Ahmad Monir Farhad, spokesman for the Balkh governor.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Uzbekistan has suspended flights to and from Afghanistan, Iran, and Italy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to a statement by the nation’s foreign ministry on Monday.
This comes as the officials of the Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi International Airport, located in Balkh, said that on Saturday an airplane from Mashad city in Iran landed in Mazar-e-Sharif.
According to officials, one of the 189 passengers was suspected of being infected by the coronavirus and died in the hospital before receiving a test from Kabul.
“We got a sample and transferred it to Kabul. The person had a brain tumor, and his death may have been caused by the tumor,” said Aminullah Sherpur, head of the monitoring department in the hospital.
Officials of Balkh's provincial hospital, known as Abu Ali Sina Balkhi, said that they have taken measures to fight cases of the virus as they arise.
Balkh officials said no positive case of new coronavirus has been reported in the province so far.
“People who suffer from heart diseases, or are 70 or 80 years old, will be at risk,” said Ghawsuddin Anwari, head of the hospital.
Residents of Balkh province urged the Ministry of Public Health to take serious measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“They (Afghan officials) should block the borders, if not, the virus will spread soon,” said Aziz Ullah, a resident of Balkh.
Wahidullah, a man who was selling lemons in Mazar-e-Sharif city, said that lemon prices had increased as suspected and confirmed cases of the coronavirus were reported in Afghanistan.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, This comes as more than 50 suspected cases of the coronavirus have reported in Helmand, Herat, Logar and Balkh province.