“The case was identified right away and measures taken — the patient’s health is under control and there isn’t concern about the individual’s health at this point,” Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said.
Mr. Feroz said it was estimated that more than 1,000 Afghans from Herat had traveled over the past few weeks, to Qom, Iran, a place of pilgrimage for Shiite Muslims because of its many shrines. He said officials were identifying those people for more screening and tests. Five were staying in an 80-bed quarantine center that had been established in Herat, he added.
The patient confirmed to have the virus was among five Afghan citizens who had been in Qom, the city where the first cases and fatalities were reported in Iran. They transited through Dubai before returning to Herat, Mr. Feroz said.
Afghanistan’s National Security Council said on Sunday that the country had suspended air and ground transport to Iran and asked for consular services to be limited to “essential humanitarian needs.” Usually, huge numbers of Afghan migrant workers travel back and forth across the border.
Beyond that, the border between the two countries is punctured by extensive smuggling routes, leaving concern even after official measures to limit formal movement.
Reporting and research was contributed by Choe Sang-Hun, Raymond Zhong, Russell Goldman, Javier C. Hernández, Albee Zhang, Elisabetta Povoledo, Austin Ramzy, Motoko Rich, Makiko Inoue, Salman Masood, Emma Bubola, Mujib Mashal, Megan Specia, Steven Lee Myers, Sui-Lee Wee, Claire Fu and Amber Wang.
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