Iran fears more COVID-19 problems from Afghan refugees

5 months ago | 63


 A new wave of refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan could exacerbate the already acute Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in Iran, according to the country’s health minister.

“The unrest in Afghanistan and the possible flight of Afghans to Iran could become a danger in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic,’’ Saeed Namaki said on Wednesday, according to Iran’s ISNA news agency.

He said it was feared that the refugees did not always comply with COVID-19 regulations, which could further increase the number of infections in the country.

Iran feared another wave of refugees from Afghanistan, as it did after the Soviet invasion in 1979.

This time, the country cannot afford to grant entry permits, as it did then for millions of Afghan refugees, because of the pandemic and the economic crisis.

Buffer zones had been set up at the border crossings, where Afghan refugees are protected for the time being, but can also return home promptly.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, there has been no influx of refugees so far.

Because of the Delta variant, the COVID-19 crisis in Iran has worsened dramatically.

With over 600 deaths and more than 50,000 new infections a day, the Ministry of Health keeps registering new highs.

The total number of deaths related to the Coronavirus was close to 100,000, and the total number of infections was more than 4.5 million.

Due to the economic crisis and U.S. sanctions, the country does not have enough vaccines and therefore the vaccination campaign for the more than 83 million people was also making slow progress. (dpa/NAN)

Aug. 18, 2021 @ 15:35 GMT |

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