KABUL, Afghanistan

The tally of coronavirus cases in Afghanistan crossed 20,000 on Sunday as the government declared wearing face masks in public mandatory.

The government also extended the closure of schools, universities and restaurants for three months.

Deputy Health Minister Dr. Waheed Maroh told a news conference that out of 1,427 samples taken from people suspected of having coronavirus, the results of 791 were positive in the past 24 hours. With this, the number of positive cases across the country surged to 20,342.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, a total of 357 people have died as a result of coronavirus and 1,875 have recovered so far.

The deputy minister urged people to seriously take into account the health recommendations included in the government’s new plan.

Under the government’s plan, masks are required in public places, two meters of social distancing is mandatory, gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited, elderly people are advised not to leave their homes, and disinfecting workplaces is a must.

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