US flights carrying Afghans will be closed for another week after four cases of measles were detected among recent arrivals.
why it matters: After the withdrawal of America from the country, there is another obstacle in the process of evacuation and resettlement of Afghans.
Flights were initially halted on Friday. The White House said further transfer flights would be delayed until at least Monday.
- Meanwhile, health officials are exploring the option of introducing vaccines, including measles, mumps and rubella, to foreign bases where thousands of evacuees are currently awaiting transfer, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday.
description: Multiple vaccinations are required for those coming as part of operation associate welcome, which is ready to accept 65,000 Afghan citizens in the US
- The pause came at the request of the CDC, Jean-Pierre said.
- Afghans diagnosed with measles are being quarantined, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, while the CDC is conducting contact tracing.
Background: Measles is a highly contagious virus that has been spreading more rapidly in recent years, according to Nerdshala Sam Baker.
- Although measles was declared eradicated in the US in 2000, vaccination rates against the virus have declined in recent years, leading to new outbreaks.
- The number of deaths from measles worldwide has steadily increased, with more than 200,000 deaths in 2019, a 60% increase from 2000 per axios baker.