This page will be updated as significant new information becomes available, but we cannot guarantee daily incremental updates of case numbers. Thank you for your patience. (3/30/2020)
- Afghanistan has a total of 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus); 82 in Herat, at least seven in Kabul, and smaller numbers in Samangan, Logar, Balkh, Zabul, Kapisa, Daykundi, Bagdhis, Kandahar and Ghazni provinces. The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed four deaths from COVID-19.
- Several cases do not have a travel history corresponding with contact with COVID-19, and the Ministry of Public Health is expected to declare community transmission.
- Kabul city, Herat, Farah, and Zaranj city in Nimroz are on lockdown.
- In addition to the National Public Health Lab in Kabul, an additional lab in Herat begin COVID-19 testing on March 22, and a lab in Mazar-e-Sharif is planned to begin operations next week. Total testing capacity once the additional labs are operating is expected to be 150-250 tests/day.
- Large numbers of travelers have been reported returning from Iran to Afghanistan through Herat province. Iran is experiencing sustained community spread of COVID-19, and is subject to U.S. travel restrictions.
- All foreign airlines (Emirates, Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Air India) and Kam Air have announced the suspension of services from Kabul. There are currently no commercial options for travelers leaving Kabul.
- For inquiries related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, if your flights have been cancelled, or if you need assistance returning to the United States, please contact the Department of State’s Global Repatriation Task Force at +1 202-501-4444 (overseas) or 1-888-407-4747 (U.S. & Canada).
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Are there any new restrictions in place as a result of the worldwide outbreak?
- The Government of Afghanistan has re-opened its border with Iran, which had been closed briefly to all air and ground travel.
- The import of all poultry products from all countries of origin is currently barred.
- The border with China located in Badakhshan province has been closed.
Do travelers need particular documentation to enter/exit?
- Afghan immigration authorities ask all arriving travelers about travel to China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea during the past month, but no specific health-related documentation has been required to enter or exit Afghanistan.
What procedures have been put in place at airports and other ports of entry?
- The Ministry of Public Health has assigned health teams to airports and land borders to screen passengers for symptoms of COVID-19.
- All passengers who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea during the one month prior to arrival in Afghanistan are separated from other passengers, checked for symptoms of COVID-19, and those with symptoms will be taken directly to a designated hospital for testing.
Passengers who are without symptoms and so screen negative as part of the arrival screening protocol, are advised to self-quarantine at home for 14 days; if they notice any symptoms, they are instructed to contact the Ministry of Public Health and seek care.
Testing and Treatment
Provincial hospitals are establishing protocols for triaging and evaluating patients under investigation.
Isolation wards for treatment have been established in Herat (80 beds) and Kabul (100 beds) for patients with COVID-19.
- Ministry of Public Health (English) – https://moph.gov.af/en/all-news
- https://moph.gov.af/dr/all-news – وزارت صحت عامه
- https://moph.gov.af/ps/all-news – د عامې روغتیا وزارت
- What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis
- Travel.State.gov – Travel Advisory on COVID-19
- CDC Travel Notice on COVID-19
- CDC Guidance on Self-Quarantine
- CDC Nonpharmaceutical Interventions
- CDC Travelers’ Health Page
- State.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page
- DHS.gov: COVID-19: Protecting Air Travelers and the American Public