US Extends Pause on Afghan Importation Flights Due to Measles Outbreak

Over 40,000 mostly-unvetted Afghans have already arrived in US

Image Credits: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images.

The United States has extended pause on the flights carrying Afghan refugees to the country for an additional week after at least five evacuees were diagnosed with measles, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Monday.

“Operation Allies Welcome flights into the United States remain paused at the request of the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] for at least seven additional days from today because of recent diagnosed cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the United States,” Kirby said at a press briefing.

“There have been five diagnosed cases of measles among new arrivals so far.”

One case of measles was confirmed last week at Fort McCoy, three cases were confirmed on Thursday night among new arrivals who flew into Dulles airport in the District of Columbia area and one has been diagnosed at Fort Pickett, Kirby said.

Those Afghans who were tested positive for measles have been housed separately and are receiving medical care, Kirby added.

Last week, the US halted all flights with Afghan evacuees en route to the US due to four cases of measles.

Earlier in September, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States has so far admitted more than 40,000 Afghan evacuees. The Afghans are being temporarily housed at eight military facilities across the United States.

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