South Asia and Beyond

COVID Forces U.S. Kabul Embassy Lockdown

“COVID-19 is surging in the mission. 114 of our colleagues have COVID and are in isolation, one has died and several have been medevaced,” a U.S. Embassy June 17 management notice says, warning, “military hospital ICU facilities are at full capacity, forcing our health units to create temporary on-compound wards for oxygen-dependant patients. 95% of our cases are individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.” The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Afghanistan on Thursday said the “surge has reached a crisis point as infections and deaths are spiralling out of control.” Infection rates, the IFRC warns “have skyrocketed by around 2,400 per cent in the past month.” In his daily briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged that “the Embassy has adjusted its operations in response to the outbreak.”

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