Despite calls by the government to citizens to limit movement and social contact to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many Afghans continue to attend weddings and markets and gather in groups in cities, including Kabul.
The Ministry of Public Health has reported 42 positive cases of the coronavirus in the country – two in the in last 24 hours in Logar and Samangan provinces. One person has died of the coronavirus in Balkh, the first death from COVID-19 in the country.
TOLOnews reporter Fariba Aram says she visited some parts of Kabul on Monday and found that buses are still used as pre-coronavirus – carrying 10 to 18 people at a time. Small cars are carry as many as five passengers, and many people are not using face masks. But, nevertheless, people aret are panicking about the virus outbreak.
“Please, avoid crowds and do not come together all in the same place. This is not the time for weddings or for engagement parties,” presidential adviser Waheed Omer said on Monday.
Some Kabul residents interviewed by TOLOnews on Monday said they cannot use face masks, citing their own reasons.
“A mask suffocates me,” said Nisar Ahmad, a Kabul resident.
Others understood the importance of following health guidelines for the coronavirus:
“We should wear masks and we should use gloves if needed,” said Mufti Shams-Ur-Rahman, a religious scholar in Kabul.
Some people are not following the government's orders, because they are not aware of them. Others are fatalistic:
“It is better to die of the coronavirus rather than dying of poverty,” said Mohammada Jan, a shoemaker in Kabul.
A similar situation lack of regard for social distancing is evident in the provinces of Herat and Baghlan. Hundreds of people attended a Buzkashi match in Baghlan on Monday.
“It will be a crisis here like Italy if it is not taken seriously by the people,” said Mohammad Sadiq Qaderi, an MP from Herat.