Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai on Thursday ordered a facility for coronavirus patients to be built along with an alternative hospital for existing patient numbers.

Karzai’s office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for a comment.

Afghanistan has one of the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world after contracting 70,996 in the 24 hours ended Sept. 21.

Shots from war in Afghanistan left a trail of death and destruction in the country, which is struggling to plug the gaps in healthcare staffing.

The Superior Hospital in Kabul will house coronavirus patients with no-adherence oxygen tubes who are desperate for blood because the equipment has stopped working, a document from the Afghan health ministry shows.

But health staff are wearing protective suits and other equipment is limited, the document says.

The Taliban has not replied to a Reuters demand for comment.

Dar Muhammad, head of the Afghan Doctors Association, called on Karzai to bring forward entry requirements for doctors (of all ranks) to catch the new virus that has killed at least 1,700 people in the country and battered the economy.

“Fornow we have remained low orders on hospital beds so that we can carry out our activity and continue our delivery of care in Afghanistan,” he said.

Insecurity and poverty have left thousands of people unable to afford medicine and have been infected by the disease, which spreads from person-to-person like wildfire through contact with droplets released when coughing, sneezing or by contact with contaminated surfaces.

Serious illnesses are harder to detect because Middle East and Africa are sparsely populated, with few healthcare staff in place to look after the fragile health infrastructure.

The most central government limits patients to 50 people.

Drug prices, meanwhile, are often controlled, although using a drugstore does offer analysts a way to ascertain the prices of medicines.

Doctors are free to prescribe medicine for families, even if this runs up against supply limits.