Status: 11.09.2021 1:45 p.m.
Because measles was found in some Afghans who arrived in the US, machines are no longer allowed to take off from US bases. Meanwhile, Pakistan announced the resumption of commercial flights to Kabul.
Because of several measles cases in Afghans who have arrived in the country, the US has stopped flights with Afghan citizens from two US bases in Germany and Qatar. According to the White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, four cases of the infectious disease have been found in people who have flown out. Those affected are in quarantine. As a “precautionary measure” and on the recommendation of the health authorities, the flights with the Afghans to the USA have been suspended for the time being.
“All Afghans arriving now are being asked to be vaccinated against measles,” added Psaki. Afghan refugees who have arrived at military bases in the USA are now being vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella, among other things. According to Psaki, the US government is also examining the possibility of vaccinating those who are still on military bases in other countries. Among other things, the USA uses the US base Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate as a transit point for thousands of Afghans who are to be relocated to the USA after the evacuation mission in the Hindu Kush.
In a document available to the AP news agency, it said that the stop of the flights would massively affect operations on the basis in Germany. There will also be adverse effects on the nearly 10,000 evacuees in Ramstein, many of whom have been there for more than ten days and are increasingly exhausted. Stopping flights to the USA is also a problem for America, as it was actually agreed with the federal government that Germany should not be used as a transit country for the airlift from Afghanistan for longer than ten days.
Second evacuation flight with 158 people
Meanwhile, a second evacuation flight flew more foreigners from Kabul after the US withdrawal. According to a Qatari official, the Qatar Airways plane brought 158 people to Qatar’s capital Doha – including 45 German citizens with family members, according to the Foreign Office. A spokesman said that there was intensive work on further exit options. Affected people would be contacted.
A first evacuation flight had brought more than 100 people to Doha on Thursday. The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalizad, also spoke on Twitter of more than 250 foreigners who had been able to leave the country in the past few days.
Since the end of the military evacuation mission in Kabul with the withdrawal of the last US soldiers, western countries have endeavored to allow their nationals and former Afghan local staff to leave the country. Land routes are also to be used increasingly for this purpose and flights from neighboring countries are to be started.
Pakistan wants to start air traffic
According to media information, the state-owned Pakistani airline PIA plans to resume commercial air traffic to the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday. “We have all the technical permits for flight operations,” said a company spokesman for the AFP news agency. The first flight will take off from Islamabad to Kabul on September 13th. With the announcement from Pakistan, the hope of a resumption of regular flight operations is growing.