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COVID-19

Kabul’s municipal bus service suspended due to COVID crisis

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(Last Updated On: June 17, 2021)

Kabul municipality on Thursday said it had suspended the municipal bus service until further notice due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Services will be suspended from Saturday, the municipality said.

“The city buses that operate in Kart-e-Naw and Ahmad Shah Baba Mina will be stopped from this Saturday to avoid the spread of coronavirus,” the municipality announced on its Facebook page.

The municipality stated that the service will resume once the infection rate levels out.

The municipality also called on all drivers to keep their passenger numbers low in vehicles and for all members of the public to adhere to health protocols including social distancing regulations and the wearing of masks.

This comes after the Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday reported 94 deaths from COVID-19 across the country.

However, analysts have stated that the official tally of COVID cases is far lower than the actual figures.

According to a World Health Organization report late last month, “limited public health resources, lack of people coming forward for testing, as well as the absence of a national death register” could mean that COVID-19 cases and related deaths are underreported in the country.
The report stated that as of 20 May, “only 434,506 tests have been conducted for a population of 40.4 million” since the start of the pandemic. This means that Afghanistan ranked 194 of 220 countries and territories on that day.

Afghanistan’s test-positivity rate of 15 percent also indicates “overall undertesting of potential cases,” said the report. Five days later, on 25 May, of the 3,489 tests conducted countrywide, 24.8 percent were positive, according to Worldometer.

COVID-19

Japan to double limit on foreign arrivals from next month

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(Last Updated On: May 20, 2022)

Japan will next month double its limit on foreign arrivals to 20,000 a day, the top government spokesperson said on Friday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a regular news conference that travellers from most countries, about 80% of the total foreign entrants to Japan, would not be required to provide proof of negative COVID tests, nor would they have to quarantine on arrival.

This included people from all other members of the G7 group of developed economies.

Japan is accepting business travellers, foreign students and academics but not tourists, except a limited number in a trial of package tours.

Matsuno said experience with the trials would be used in later decisions to further reopen.

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COVID-19

China removes some COVID test rules on travellers from U.S.

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2022)

Travellers flying to China from U.S. cities including Los Angeles, New York and San Francesco from May 20 will no longer need a RT-PCR test seven days before flights, notices issued late on Tuesday by the Chinese embassy and consulates showed.

Previous requirements on antibody tests before flights will be removed as well, the notices said.

Travellers still need to do two RT-PCR tests within 48 hours or 24 hours of their flights – depending on which airport they are flying out of – plus another antigen test, those notices showed.

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COVID-19

Beijing extends work-from-home guidance in several city districts

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2022)

Beijing on Sunday extended guidance to work from home in four districts of the Chinese capital, including the largest, Chaoyang, as the city tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak.

Beijing found 55 new cases in the 24 hours to 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) on Sunday, 10 of which were outside areas that under quarantine, officials said. The city is scrambling to stamp out such community infections.

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