Measles cases temporarily halt Afghan refugee arrivals in US

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has halted flights carrying Afghan evacuees to the United States from military bases overseas afte...


WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has halted flights carrying Afghan evacuees to the United States from military bases overseas after discovering a few of the new arrivals had measles, the latest obstacle in a disorderly effort to help the allies in the hope of fleeing the Taliban.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called for evacuation flights to be temporarily suspended “out of excess of caution” after four Afghans were found to have measles after arriving in the United States, the press secretary said on Friday. from the White House, Jen Psaki. .

As of Wednesday, the administration had evacuated more than 60,000 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 17, according to the Department of Homeland Security, mostly Afghans seeking refuge in the United States.

The suspension follows a chaotic evacuation that left US citizens and thousands of Afghans in limbo after the American army completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban seized Kabul, sealing their control of the country. Thousands of Afghans who hope to reach the United States are waiting at military bases in other countries, including a site in Doha, Qatar, where diplomats and military officials reported worsening conditions and some health problems among the evacuees.

Ms Psaki said on Friday that the four Afghans with measles were being quarantined and the CDC was continuing contact tracing. All Afghan evacuees must be vaccinated against measles as a condition of entry into the United States.

“We are also exploring measures to vaccinate people while they are still abroad,” Ms. Psaki said, adding that the suspension “was, again, a step recommended by the CDC out of excess of caution given of four cases of measles “.

A White House official described the shutdown as only temporary as the CDC assesses the extent of the measles problem.

The administration’s work to help Americans and their Afghan allies leave Afghanistan has been punctuated by scenes of tragedy, including a suicide bombing that killed around 180 Afghans and 13 US service members at Kabul airport in the early days of withdrawal.

Most Americans have been expelled, although tens of thousands of Afghan allies who risked their lives to help the US effort in Afghanistan have been left behind.

The government estimates that 100 U.S. citizens who wish to leave remain in Afghanistan, Jalina Porter, deputy state department press secretary, said on Friday.

On Thursday, the first international passenger flight took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport since the exit of US troops, carrying dozens of Americans, Canadians and Britons. Another Qatar Airways flight carrying 19 Americans departed on Friday, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.

“Today’s departures show how we are providing Americans with clear and secure options to leave Afghanistan from different locations,” Ms. Horne said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Measles cases temporarily halt Afghan refugee arrivals in US
Measles cases temporarily halt Afghan refugee arrivals in US
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