KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. State Department says COVID-19 infections have been reported at its embassy in the Afghan capital and affected staff include diplomats, contractors and locals.
The State Department did not say how many were affected. An official at the embassy in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, said up to 20 people were infected, the majority of them Nepalese Gurkhas, who provide embassy security.
“The embassy is implementing all appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the State Department said in a statement late Friday.
The infected staff are in isolation in the embassy while the remainder on the compound are being tested, said the embassy official. That official added that embassy staff were told they can expect tighter isolation orders.
The State Department said a sanitization of the premises was being carried out to “prevent further outbreak.”
Few of the Afghans who returned from Iran were tested before they fanned out across the country to their homes.
A handful of NATO troops have also tested positive for the infection. State
Lee reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report