Afghanistan's public health ministry announced Sunday that 500 random coronavirus tests in the capital revealed more than 150 positive results, raising fears that the virus may be spreading faster than originally thought.
Ministry spokesman Wahid Mayar called the results from Kabul concerning and said people must remain in their homes to slow the spread. He said the country's actual infection rate would likely increase as testing becomes more available.
Afghanistan has thus far taken close to 12,000 samples, of which more than 2,700 have been positive, and 85 people have died.
Kabul and most other cities are in lockdown.
Afghanistan has also received more than 250,000 refugees who have returned from Iran, the country hardest hit by coronavirus in the region. There are growing fears that the country's health care system, devastated by four decades of war, will be woefully unprepared for a major outbreak.