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Measles Cases Bring Temporary Halt to Afghanistan Refugee Arrivals in US

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration halted flights carrying Afghan evacuees to america from army bases abroad after discovering a number of of the brand new arrivals had measles, the newest hurdle in a haphazard effort to help allies hoping to flee the Taliban.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention requested that the evacuation flights be briefly suspended “out of an abundance of warning” after 4 Afghans had been discovered to have measles after arriving in america, the White Home press secretary, Jen Psaki, mentioned on Friday.

As of Wednesday, the administration had evacuated greater than 60,000 individuals from Afghanistan since Aug. 17, in response to the Division of Homeland Safety, most of them Afghans searching for sanctuary in america.

The suspension follows a chaotic evacuation that has left Americans and 1000’s of Afghans in limbo after the U.S. army accomplished its withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban seized Kabul, sealing their management of the nation. 1000’s of Afghans hoping to achieve america are ready at army bases in different international locations, together with a website in Doha, Qatar, the place diplomats and army officers have reported worsening circumstances and a few well being points amongst evacuees.

Ms. Psaki mentioned on Friday that the 4 Afghans with measles had been being quarantined and that the C.D.C. was pursuing contact tracing. All Afghan evacuees should be vaccinated for measles as a situation of entry to america.

“We’re additionally exploring measures to vaccinate individuals whereas they’re nonetheless abroad,” Ms. Psaki mentioned, including that the suspension “was, once more, a step advisable by the C.D.C. out of an abundance of warning given 4 measles instances.”

A White Home official described the halt as solely momentary whereas the C.D.C. assesses the extent of the measles drawback.

The administration’s work to assist People and Afghan allies depart Afghanistan was punctuated by scenes of tragedy, together with a suicide bombing that killed about 180 Afghans and 13 U.S. army personnel on the Kabul airport within the preliminary days of the withdrawal.

Most People have been flown out, though tens of 1000’s of Afghan allies who risked their lives to assist the U.S. effort in Afghanistan have been left behind.

The federal government estimates 100 Americans who need to depart stay in Afghanistan, Jalina Porter, deputy press secretary for the State Division, mentioned on Friday.

On Thursday, the primary worldwide passenger flight departed Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport for the reason that exit of American troops, carrying scores of People, Canadians and Britons. One other flight from Qatar Airways carrying 19 People left on Friday, Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the Nationwide Safety Council, mentioned in an announcement.

“Immediately’s departures display how we’re giving People clear and protected choices to depart Afghanistan from completely different places,” Ms. Horne mentioned.

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