- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2020

Nearly a third of the population in Afghanistan is likely to have contracted COVID-19, according to new estimates by the country’s health ministry.

Health Minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani told reporters Wednesday that a survey examining about 9,500 antibody tests found that over 30% of the country’s population, or roughly 10 million people, have contracted COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The highest infection rate was found to be in Kabul, the country’s capital, where over half of the city’s population is believed to have contracted the virus, Radio Free Europe reported.

Afghanistan has officially reported 36,896 cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Nearly 1,300 people have died and 25,800 have recovered. Afghanistan has a population of 37 million people.

“A second wave of the infection is happening everywhere in the world and we cannot be an exception,” Mr. Osmani said. “We will use the findings of this survey to better prepare ourselves for a possible second wave.”

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