Covid outbreak forces lockdown at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

A US Marine stands guard in entrance of the US embassy December 21, 2001 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Paula Bronstein | Getty Photos

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Embassy in Kabul was positioned on lockdown on Thursday as Covid instances surge in Afghanistan, pushing the nation’s fragile well being care system to its limits.

On the embassy, 114 staff have examined constructive for the coronavirus and are at the moment in isolation, one individual has died and several other individuals have been medically evacuated.

“Army hospital ICU sources are at full capability, forcing our well being items to create momentary, on-compound Covid-19 wards to take care of oxygen-dependent sufferers. 95% of our instances are people who’re unvaccinated or not absolutely vaccinated,” the Embassy wrote in an announcement.

Efficient instantly, the Embassy mentioned, personnel can be confined to their quarters besides to get meals from eating services or to train or chill out alone open air.

“People might stroll, run, or chill out open air with out masks supplied that they’re ALONE, which implies at the very least 20 ft from others. Any nearer requires a masks,” the assertion continued, including that in-person indoor conferences are prohibited except “completely mission-critical.”

Individuals who do not comply with the insurance policies might face elimination from the submit “on the following out there flight,” the Embassy added.

“Restrictions will proceed till the chain of transmission is damaged,” the assertion mentioned.

Afghan hospitals are quickly working out of medical gear and different sources as an infection instances see an increase of two,400% over the previous month, the Worldwide Federation of Purple Cross and Purple Crescent Societies mentioned on Thursday.

Final week the U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended all consular visa companies with the intention to take care of an “intense third wave of Covid-19 instances,” probably hampering the visa standing for hundreds of Afghans who assisted the U.S. army via the battle.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill raised considerations Thursday on whether or not the backlog of greater than 10,000 Afghan translators and their households can be cleared earlier than the remaining U.S. troops withdraw from the war-weary nation.

Military Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, advised the Senate Armed Companies Committee throughout a listening to on the Pentagon’s finances request that “planning is ongoing” to safeguard Afghans who served alongside U.S. and NATO troops.

The nation’s highest army officer added that the U.S. army was able to finishing up any request because the State Division works via the thorough visa course of for eligible Afghans.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon mentioned it surpassed the midpoint in its herculean job of withdrawing troops and gear out of Afghanistan.

The U.S. army has eliminated the equal of roughly 611 a great deal of materials flown in another country by giant cargo plane, in accordance with an replace from U.S. Central Command.

Aircrew assigned to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, carry their gear right into a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, April 27, 2021.

Employees Sgt. Kylee Gardner | U.S. Air Power picture

Roughly 14,000 items of apparatus that won’t be left to the Afghan army have additionally been handed over to the Protection Logistics Company for destruction. The U.S. has formally handed over six services to the Afghan army.

In April, Biden introduced a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, which might finish America’s longest warfare.

Biden’s withdrawal timeline breaks with a proposed deadline brokered final yr by the Trump administration with the Taliban. In line with that deal, all international forces would have needed to go away Afghanistan by Might 1.

The elimination of roughly 3,000 U.S. service members coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults, which spurred America’s entry into prolonged wars within the Center East and Central Asia.

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