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India Brings Back Officials from Afghanistan's Herat Consulate after Spurt in COVID-19 Cases

Volunteers prepare themselves to spray disinfectants on streets and shops amid concerns about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kabul, Afghanistan March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Volunteers prepare themselves to spray disinfectants on streets and shops amid concerns about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kabul, Afghanistan March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

India has been temporarily relocating its staff from its consulates in Herat, Jalalabad and Kandahar in view of fast-spreading cases of coronavirus infection in the country, government sources said.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: April 7, 2020, 10:57 PM IST
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India on Tuesday brought back home a number of officials serving in its consulate in Herat province of Afghanistan which has recorded a spurt in coronavirus cases following return of thousands of Afghan people from neighbouring Iran.

India has been temporarily relocating its staff from its consulates in Herat, Jalalabad and Kandahar in view of fast-spreading cases of coronavirus infection in the country, government sources said.

Most of the areas in Afghanistan do not have healthcare facilities to take care of people having coronavirus infection.

"As part of ongoing exercise, a few Indian officials were relocated from Herat today. They were brought to India as there was no sufficient place to stay in Embassy in Kabul," said a source.

The sources said Indian Mission and Consulates in Afghanistan continue to function observing necessary health precautions.

Late last month, India shifted a number of its diplomats and staff from its consulates in Herat and Jalalabad to Kabul following spike in coronavirus cases.

Afghanistan shares a long border with Iran, the worst hit nation by the pandemic in the region.

According to the Afghan government, over 420 people have been infected by the virus although the actual figures are believed to be far higher.

Health experts believe the actual number could be higher as several provinces in the country do not have facilities to carry out lab test to check the infection.

The Indian diplomats and staff in Kabul have been told to take all required precautions to insulate themselves from the virus while carrying out their normal duties in the embassy.

Herat province shares a long border with Iran which is among the countries reporting large number of coronavirus cases and struggling to combat one of the world's worst outbreaks.

Thousands of Afghan people are returning from Iran to Herat in the wake of rapid rise in coronavirus cases in Iran.

Over 3,600 people died and more than 55,000 have been infected across Iran since February.

The coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged in Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed nearly 75,000 people and infected close to 13 lakh people in 185 countries.


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