As the number of COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan rise, the country's Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said at a press briefing that the ministry did not have the access to funds necessary to fight the pandemic spreading in the country.

This has resulted in the number of cases in the country rising to 120 after three people were found to test positive for the virus on Sunday, the minister said at the briefing, according to TOLO News. So far, the country has reported 4 casualties of the coronavirus.

Areas with new cases share borders with Iran

Two of the new cases were in Herat while another was in Nimroz. Both provinces share borders with Iran where the coronavirus has infected over 36,000 and killed more than 2,600 people.

Four members of NATO's Resolute Support mission are also among those who have contracted the virus in Afghanistan, he added. "We have three deaths and five recovery cases... Based on our plan, we might need $100 million while right now we have $18 million and it is nothing," said Feroz.

Old City Wall – Sher Darwaza, Kabul, Afghanistan
Old City Wall – Sher Darwaza, Kabul, Afghanistan Wikimedia Commons

Officials raise concern over challenges

Lawmakers also confirmed hurdles in the government's campaign against the spread of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Public Health said it does not have the required facilities in access. More than 5,000 passengers and refugees are entering Herat from Iran on a daily basis and 1,000 to 2,000 others are entering Nimroz.

Drawing attention to the lack of adequate measures, Najibullah Nasir, head of the health committee of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament, said, "There should be proper measures for these people."

Another Member of Parliament, Jawed Safi, said, "Based on our information, other areas are also faced with problems, and so far no attention has been paid to them." As part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government on Friday announced a three-week lockdown in Kabul.

(With inputs from agencies)