The United States identified several measles cases among new arrivals in the United States Friday. It suspended flights to Afghanistan and took some people off the plane.
The Associated Press saw a document from the U.S. government warning that this development would have a significant impact on evacuations. Since August 15, thousands of Afghan Taliban-controlled Afghanistanns have been evacuated. Americans and others had prepared well, but were plagued with attacks and other fatal violence.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the decision based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that measles was detected in four Afghans arriving in the United States. According to Psaki’s comments, it is unclear if the transit point applies to all overseas points or just to the two largest transit points of Qatar and Germany.
A spokesperson from the Customs and Border Protection Agency could not be reached immediately to answer any questions regarding the suspension, including when it will end.
Due to developments, US officials abroad had to take Afghan families off the plane on Friday. These families fled to safety after being forced to flee to safety by the Taliban, which they entered on August 15. The Afghans were confronted by the Taliban checkpoint and the crowd entered Kabul’s airport. 13 American soldiers were also killed in the attack on the airport gate. 169 Afghans died in the suicide attack.
According to Associated Press, a government document stated that the grounding of Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany would “seriously adversely affect” its operation. It is one of Europe’s largest transfer stations. The document also stated that the Al Udeid base, Qatar, will be the stop for flights to the United States.
Airlifted from Kabul, thousands of Afghan evacuees are still on the way to their new homes in America. For further screening, some people may be resettled in Kosovo.
According to government documents, nearly 10,000 Ramstein residents would be affected by the flight suspension announced Friday. It also pointed out that many of the evacuees are already tired and have been there for over ten days.
Germany has set a 10-day time limit for Afghans living in US bases. But this seems more like an advisory than a deadline. Some German politicians and media were dissatisfied when some Afghans applied for asylum in Germany after they arrived.