Afghanistan

Over 100 at US Kabul embassy tested positive

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (Pajhwok): More than 100 people at the US Embassy in Kabul have Covid-19, one person has died, and several have been medically evacuated as a wave of the deadly pandemic hits Afghanistan and the US military withdrawal from the country continues, reported by CNN on Friday.
The surge in cases has prompted a lockdown at the diplomatic mission and the creation of “temporary, on-compound COVID-19 wards to care for oxygen-dependent patients” because “military hospital ICU resources are at full capacity,” according to an Embassy management notice dated June 17.
“95% of our cases are individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated,” it noted. Eric Rubin, the President of the American Foreign Service Association, said his understanding was that the outbreak at the embassy was primarily among American embassy employees and contractors.
Amid the outbreak, all personnel at the embassy’s compound “are confined to quarters, except to get food from the DFACs,” a military term for dining facilities, “or to exercise or relax outdoors, alone,” the notice said, outlining a series of restrictions on activities and work. The notice called for those coming to the embassy to be vaccinated before arrival, noting that “failure to do this puts everyone in the community at risk.”
“Please avail yourselves of the vaccines available in the Embassy. Over 90% of our Afghan and TCN (Third Country National) Staff have received vaccines and we have more vaccine available,” it said. Rubin echoed the call for those at the embassy to be vaccinated, and told CNN that AFSA would press for the federal government” to require all US employees, US government employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment overseas unless they have professional medical advice to the contrary” or a religious exemption or a disability.
“It’s unacceptable to have our posts in key countries on lockdown when the means of preventing that are available,” he said. “This is a critical moment in Afghanistan with our transitioning down from our military presence, and to have our embassy in lockdown with all of our people confined to their quarters is a very significant threat to our national interest and national security for no good reason,” Rubin added.

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