Afghanistan’s minister of public health has urged Afghans to stay in their homes next week during Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest holidays of the Islamic calendar, to avoid risking a resurgence of the virus.

Celebrations for a previous holiday — Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan and its month of fasting — had spread the virus, the minister, Ahmad Jawad Osmani, warned.

“Before Eid al-Fitr, the positive cases were less, but two weeks after the Eid, we reached the peak of Covid-19, because people didn’t stay indoors during the Eid and it caused spread of the virus,” Mr. Osmani said at a news conference on Thursday.

Afghanistan was now “in a better position in the fight against Covid-19,” the minister said. “The number of infected people coming to hospitals and the number of critical patients is dropping.”

The Ministry of Public Health has recorded more than 36,000 positive cases of Covid-19 across the country, with 1,247 deaths, 505 of them in the capital, Kabul. Forty-eight positive cases were registered across the country in the past 24 hours, with 22 people dying from the virus in that time. But experts warn that official numbers are not even close to an indication of the real spread.

Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated 70 days after Ramadan, falls on July 31 this year.



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