efe-epaBy Baber Khan Sahel. Kabul

Even as the world struggles to contain the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, Afghanistan, relatively unscathed by the crisis so far, has become increasingly vulnerable to a bigger outbreak due to the return of thousands of refugees from neighboring Iran, one of the countries worst-affected by the virus.

In recent weeks Tehran has intensified the deportation of Afghan refugees and migrants, triggering concerns as at least 22 of the total 34 positive cases of the new coronavirus so far have been detected among people who recently returned from Iran. The country also registered its first death due to the virus on Sunday in the northern Balkh province. EFE-EPA