A local health clinic in Khamab district, Jozjan Province. Clinic personnel gather in front of the clinic. On their chests is written "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - Health Commission for Jozjan Province, Hospital emergency Team, Covid-19"
Afghanistan is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 after decades of war smashed the country's health systems and now millions of migrant workers are returning from Iran to all provinces in the country.
The worst of the pandemic is yet to come but those living in remote Taliban-controlled villages fear that when it does, coronavirus will be more deadly than nearly 20 years of war.
For the first time in years the threat of the virus has sparked a tentative cooperation between the Taliban and Afghanistan's government and raised hopes that tensions might ease and a stalled peace process can get back on track.
In a major concession, the Taliban has allowed NGOs approved by the government access to its territory where they are able to deliver the healthcare assistance the government can not.
But there is a long way to go.
Much needs to be done to stop the virus spreading through Afghanistan's remote and poorly-resourced mountain villages where authority switches back and forth between control of the government, the Taliban and tribal warlords.
'Nobody knew what COVID-19 was'
Hamid — who does not want to share his full name — comes from from the village of Sebak, tucked into the mountains west of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. He returned home last month after working in neighbouring Iran where coronavirus has now infected more than 100,000 people.
"When I arrived (home), nobody knew what COVID-19 was," says Hamid, 25.
He was told by the Taliban officials who control the area to go straight to hospital in a government-controlled town for testing, and to self-isolate for 14 days while he waited for the results. The Taliban even provided an ambulance to take him into government territory.
COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan are now heading towards 3,500 with 104 deaths. But low testing rates (about 10,000 tests have been carried out in a population of 34 million) raise concerns that the infection level may be much higher.
Hamid says the remoteness of many Afghan towns and villages, along with a lack of information and healthcare resources, means citizens are not prepared for what lies ahead if the virus takes hold.
"The problem, despite Taliban trying to quarantine people coming from Iran, is that nobody is careful in respecting social distancing measures," Hamid believes. "In our village there has not been any information. But in bigger towns, Taliban have organised some gatherings to [share information]".
A threat to rival war
But the lack of information flowing to the community is only one part of Afghanistan's problem: healthcare and infrastructure is already struggling after decades of war.
"We are scared," says Dr Sefatullah, who is responsible for a local hospital in Hamid's home province which is under the control of the Taliban.
Doctors are beginning to whisper the unthinkable: this pandemic may cause "even more deaths than 18 years of war" which has killed more than 110,000 people since it began after the September 11 attacks in New York.
Despite the crisis, however, conflict between Taliban fighters and government soldiers for territorial control is still going on in the countryside and casualties mount.
The Taliban and the Afghan government have tried since March to put measures in place to help prevent the spread.
Areas under government control — now estimated to be about 55 per cent of the country — are in partial lockdown.
In Kabul, diplomatic and business neighbourhoods are closed and guarded by police checkpoints.
But in other parts of the city, traffic is even worse than normal and shops remain open, according to one Kabul citizen who wants to remain anonymous.
"The government cannot implement a real lockdown because people could starve without working and this could be a reason for uprising or people joining the Taliban in order to survive," he says.
Local media has reported that the cost of food in Kabul has risen by up to 30 per cent over the past two months.
In Taliban-controlled areas which account for about 15 per cent of the country, the situation is even more precarious.
Few experienced health workers and very basic healthcare clinics have left these remote parts of Afghanistan unprepared.
"We are distributing some equipment, but since our clinics are poorly equipped, we send people to the provincial hospitals under the control of Kabul Administration," says Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujaheed.
Manzur Khan a villager living under the Taliban in the district of Khooshi, south of Kabul, says no quarantine is in place where he lives.
"People are going to the mosque and visit [each other] without restriction," says Manzur, 30. "But Taliban are trying to … inform."
Dr Sefatullah agrees: "Taliban are trying their best, albeit not being organised and without specific staff. But there is no real lockdown and no physical distancing".
And raising awareness is a challenge
The Taliban is using its website as well as Twitter and public gatherings to spread information.
"From the first day we heard about coronavirus we informed people, divided mosques, schools and markets," says Hafiz Mandani, from the Taliban health commission in Wardak province.
"The leadership sent us masks, soap to wash hands, plastic gloves and information on how to prevent the spread."
Zabihullah claims there has not been any positive cases in Taliban-controlled areas to date, but in a rare move that reflects the level of concern over the looming threat posed by coronavirus, the Taliban has allowed international organisation into its territory to deliver healthcare and send suspect positive cases — like Hamid's — to government hospitals in larger towns.
Can international NGOs help?
Villages in Wardak province are being supported by a Swedish NGO, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan,
"In the clinics we have mostly local personnel but thanks to NGOs, we are supported also by experts," says Mandani. "We have no direct contacts with the government."
The project director for Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Wardak, Hafizullah Malang, says the organisation is seen as impartial and neutral and can get access to Taliban-controlled areas where the government is banned.
"We have to say that Taliban do not have any [medical expertise] and are learning from media about the virus," says Malang.
"We appreciate in any case the opportunity given to us to work in their areas. They are trying to spread awareness. But this is the real challenge in this country."
Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesperson for the government's health ministry, says he hopes the fight against COVID-19 can improve cooperation with the Taliban.
"We really hope that this common fight could bring us more united and lead to a ceasefire, since Afghans are dying every day," he says.
Yet despite a peace agreement being signed in February and plans for a prisoner exchange, clashes between the Taliban fighters and government soldiers continue.
"The government made extensive efforts for peace, but the Taliban instead increased violence against the Afghan people" said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the Office of National Security Council.
The Taliban has a different version: "We are only using 40 per cent of our military capacity so far," says Zabihullah Mujaheed, the Taliban spokesperson. "If they do not release the 5,000 prisoners as agreed and the US will not stop supporting them, we will increase the violence."
Last month about 100 Taliban prisoners were released by the Afghan government in a move aimed at easing tension. More have since been released but still far from the agreed 1,500.
But it is too soon to suggest that the virus has brought an end to hostilities.
"We have had indirect cooperation … but [this] does not mean … [we are back] together," says Zabihullah. "We cannot trust them. They would infiltrate some intelligence. We work through organisations like NGOs, the International Committee for the Red Cross or the World Health Organisation. They can enter our areas providing the necessary treatments".
This fragile collaboration between Taliban and the Afghan government is one hopeful sign but a lot more has to happen before both sides can resolve their fundamental differences
And with coronavirus making steady inroads into the country, Afghanistan has huge new challenges ahead.