(The Kabul Times): The New Year celebration events in Afghanistan have been officially cancelled to contain the spread of coronavirus, a presidential adviser said on Saturday. March 20 will be the first day of the Afghan New Year, which is locally called as Nowruz. Waheed Omer, the president’s senior advisor for public and strategic affairs, announced on Twitter that Nowruz celebrations including major ones in Mazar-e-Sharif city and Kabul’s Kart-e-Sakhi area were cancelled. He advised citizens not to attend gatherings or undertake trips for Nowruz celebrations. This comes as Afghanistan’s health officials have confirmed four additional positive coronavirus cases in the country. This brings the country’s total to 16. The new cases were detected in Kapisa, Daikundi and northern Balkh and Samangan provinces, Public Health Ministry said. Another case was also confirmed in Herat. So far, Afghanistan has tested 181 suspected cases of coronavirus, of which 16 came back as positive while the remaining were found to be negative. Half of confirmed coronavirus cases are in Herat which has near the border with Iran. Samangan has three cases while Balkh and Kapisa each has one. Coronavirus or COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include fever, cough and asthma.