In response to the "intense third wave of COVID-19 cases throughout the country" the US Embassy in Kabul has suspended all visa application operations effective June 13 (Sunday), the embassy said in a statement Friday.
According to the statement, everyone "scheduled for appointments in the coming days will be contacted directly to reschedule as soon as visa operations resume.
The embassy stated that applicants do not need to contact the Embassy to reschedule and should not come to the Embassy.
"We acknowledge and regret the inconvenience to applicants as we seek to protect the health of our staff and applicants to ensure we can fully support visa and other consular services going forward," the statement read.
The embassy also stated that the United States stands in solidarity with the Afghan government and the Ministry of Public Health as they work to take action to contain the spread of the virus and care for those who fall ill.
"We are saddened to hear of the deaths of esteemed and much valued Afghans who have passed away from COVID recently. We also grieve the passing of one of our own Embassy colleagues," read their statement.
The embassy added that the United States government will continue to support efforts to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19 in Afghanistan and that in the past year, USAID has provided more than $39 million to directly to help Afghanistan respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, expedited $90 million in other COVID-related development assistance through the World Bank, and reoriented other US assistance to support Afghan efforts to deal with the pandemicís consequences.
"US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently announced more than $266 million in new humanitarian assistance to address the pressing needs of an estimated 18 million Afghans who are suffering due to COVID-19, hunger, and displacement, bringing total US humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to nearly $3.9 billion since 2002," read the statement.