Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest-September 2021
Global Security Matters
- The Secretary of Homeland Security says the United States expects to admit over 50,000 evacuees from Afghanistan. The majority of the evacuees aided the American war effort and are particularly vulnerable under Taliban rule.
- Pakistani officials said they face an increased security threat from neighboring Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country. The capital city of Islamabad is particularly worried about militant fighters from a separate Taliban group crossing over from Afghanistan and launching attacks.
- The Department of Homeland security warned of an increased threat of violence ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The agency noted no credible or imminent threats have been identified at this moment.
Total Deaths: 4 , 578 , 393 ( 649,168 in United States) Full Vaccinations Administered: 2.19 billion, globally (United States: 176 M – 53.6 % of population)
- Over Labor Day weekend, the US reached a total of 40 million Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began.
- Doctor Anthony Fauci said it is likely three doses of the vaccine will be needed for full protection. He cited two Israeli studies that showed a decrease in infections among people who received a booster shot.
- The BioNTech-Pfizer Shot, recently fully approved by the FDA, has yet to be signed off on by regulators on China’s mainland. Some analysts speculate that the reason for the delay could be due to the government’s reluctance to greenlight a foreign vaccine.
- Amid mounting pressure to do more to address the global coronavirus pandemic, the White House announced an investment of $2.7 billion to create an “arsenal of vaccines for the world.” The money will go towards firms within the US that make supplies necessary for vaccine production.
- New York City’s Covid-19 positivity rate is declining and continues to be lower than the statewide rates for the virus, according to new data. The statewide positivity rate was last measured at 3.28% while New York City’s rate was 2.39%.
- Oregon now requires people to wear masks outdoors in public settings where physical distancing isn’t possible, in response to near-state-record Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
- The Mu variant of Covid-19 has so far been found in all US states except Nebraska. Health officials believe Mu may be more transmissible than Delta and may be able to evade vaccines.
- With nearly 800 students in quarantine after a rise in Covid-19 cases, a central Texas school district began requiring masks this week in defiance of the governor’s order to ban such a mandate.
- New Zealand announced on Monday that it will ease Covid-19 restrictions outside its largest city, Auckland, ending a series of lockdowns that began in August. Areas outside Auckland will be lowered to level two while Auckland will remain at level four.
- Hong Kong said it will allow fully vaccinated residents to return to the city from five additional countries and relaxed restrictions on travelers from mainland China.
- Israel will allow small foreign tour groups from selected countries to visit starting September 19 under a pilot program to kick-start tourism. Tour groups of 5 to 30 from countries on Israel’s green, yellow, and orange lists will be allowed to enter the country provided all group members have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
- CDC Covid-19Travel Guidelines
- CDC Covid-19 facts page
- CDC Symptoms page
- You can download Interfor’s return to work guidelines here.
- See our latest blog posts on the global impact of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.