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Afghanistan records highest daily increase in coronavirus cases

Published May 23,2020
In this Sunday, March 22, 2020 file photo, health workers measure the temperature of Afghan passengers in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as they enter Kabul trough Kabul's western entrance gate, in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

Afghanistan recorded the highest daily increase in the number of novel coronavirus cases on Saturday as the country plans to ease restrictions in the coming days.

With 782 new cases in the past 24 hours, the total number of infected people hit almost 10,000, according to the official figures. In addition, 216 people have died nationwide and over 1,000 recovered.

Nearly 30,000 people have been tested since the country with a population of around 37 million reported its first case in February.

More than 50 per cent of samples have tested positive in the past couple of days amid an existing lockdown.

With a fragile health-care system and limited testing capacity, the real number of affected people is feared to be much higher.

Officials said the Afghan capital, with the highest rate of confirmed cases, will be under strict lockdown during this weekend's Muslim Eid holiday.

Currently, the majority of people have broken the official lockdown regulations in the country, many thinking the virus is not that serious. Few people are following the health guidelines.

Authorities warn of a "tragedy" if people refuse to stay at home during the Eid holiday and traditionally go to the houses of their relatives.