The United States has halted all flights of Afghan evacuees from two overseas air bases after detecting a limited measles outbreak, an obstacle that US officials say will seriously affect evacuation operations.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency made the decision to halt flights from U.S. bases in Germany and Qatar on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a federal government document seen by The Associated Press. The document indicated unspecified “health issues”.RELATED
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the temporary suspension resulted from the discovery of four cases of measles among those who arrived in the United States.
The United States has been conducting medical examinations and other paperwork on evacuees at those two large bases and at others where they are taken from Afghanistan.
The disruption of flights is a problem for the United States in part because many of the evacuees have been at the Ramstein base for more than 10 days, the limit set by Germany to allow its territory to be used as a transit point.
The document accessed by the AP says the disruption will “seriously impact” operations at the base and “adversely affect” the nearly 10,000 evacuees in Ramstein, many of whom have been there for more than 10 days and show signs of fatigue.