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Coronavirus: Nawroz festivities cancelled in Balkh

14 Mar 2020 - 12:46
14 Mar 2020 - 12:46

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Events celebrating Nawroz (New Year) festival have been cancelled in northern Balkh province in compliance with a presidential decree, an official said Saturday.

Deputy governor Mohammad Bashir Tawhidi told Pajhwok Afghan News to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Nawroz celebrations were completely cancelled.

He also said flights from Iran and India were also suspended today and all restaurants’ owners in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, had been informed about precautionary measures.

The deputy governor said all universities and schools in Balkh had been already closed for 10 days.

President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday urged the countrymen to avoid gathering and celebrating upcoming Nawroz festivities in order to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Earlier, schools were ordered closed by the government in Farah, Herat and Nimroz provinces over coronavirus fears.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic — for which most people do not have immunity.

WHO Director Dr. TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus said the number of coronavirus cases outside China had increased 13 times in two weeks. He was deeply concerned by the alarming level of inaction.

China — where the virus was first detected — has seen a total of 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths. But it recorded its lowest number of new infections, just 19, on Tuesday.

More than 10,000 cases have been reported in Italy, the worst-hit country outside of China where the spread began.

The UK has seen its biggest daily rise in cases, with 460 people now infected. A total of eight people have died in the country, and another Briton lost his life in Bali.

Over 1,000 cases have been confirmed in the US, and several major events in that country have been cancelled or postponed.

Pk/ma

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