At least 30 Afghan nationals have lost their lives to COVID-19 in India amid the spread of the third wave of the virus in that country, said the Afghan envoy in New Delhi, Farid Mamundzay.
He said 15 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, India-based Afghan migrants and a student are among the victims.
The envoy called on Afghans to restrict unnecessary travel to India.
Amid the latest surge of the coronavirus in India, Afghans from around the country showed sympathy with Indians on social media, calling the neighborhood Asian country a friend of Afghanistan and wishing an end to its tragic situation.
Afghan citizens said that India has helped Afghanistan in challenging situations as it has provided 500,000 doses of vaccine this year.
“India has been a good friend to Afghanistan over the last two decades and has not implemented biased policies like Pakistan and has proven its friendship with Afghanistan,” said Ehsanullah, a Kabul resident. “The Afghan government should help India with all its resources.”
“Considering the historic past of the two countries, India has cooperated with Afghanistan politically and economically. In the situation that India faces now, our government can cooperate spiritually and should show sympathy with them,” said Mohammad Ali, a Kabul resident.
Some Afghan politicians, including President Ashraf Ghani, also sent messages to India expressing hope they will soon overcome the situation.
“Our hearts go out to the Indian people and government as they fight the horrendous outbreak of COVID,” Ghani tweeted. “On behalf of the Afghan people and government, we send our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wish a quick recovery to those who are suffering from the virus.”
“The government of Afghanistan shares its sympathy with the people and the government of India and the families who have been affected by the pandemic,” said Latif Mahmoud, a presidential spokesman.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh also shared his condolences with the people of India, calling it a true friend of Afghanistan.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with India, a true friend and ally of Afghanistan as it passes through difficult times combating deadly COVID-19,” Saleh tweeted. “Wishing all Indian people more resilience and fast victory over the pandemic. Jai Hind.”
“We are certain that India will come out of this crisis successfully with the collective efforts of its medical staff, people and government,” Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation wrote on Twitter.
“Afghanistan should provide its humanitarian assistance through any channel,” said Fakoori Beheshti, member of the international relations committee of the Afghan parliament.
Figures show that over 350,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in India and over 2,800 more lost their lives to the virus.