US tells Americans in Afghanistan to get out due to COVID-19 surge 

The U.S. called on Americans to evacuate Afghanistan “as soon as possible” as the country faces a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a health alert Thursday to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan, warning of the COVID-19 surge and overwhelmed hospitals.

In its statement, the embassy said hospitals in the country are experiencing shortages of supplies, oxygen and beds for all patients. U.S. citizens seeking hospital care have reportedly been denied admittance.

The alert encourages Americans to make plans to leave without U.S. government assistance.

“Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited,” the alert reads.

By the numbers: Afghanistan is enduring a rapid uptick in COVID-19 cases and deaths since mid-May, reaching a pandemic-high for the seven-day average of 897 cases on Wednesday, according to Our World in Data.  

The country has documented a seven-day average of almost 22 fatalities a day, approaching the record 25 deaths seven-day average in July 2020.

At the same time, about 1.24 percent of people in Afghanistan have received at least one dose, and 0.37 percent are fully vaccinated.