First Covid-19 Case in Yemen Raise Fears of Millions Becoming Infected

First Covid-19 Case in Yemen Raise Fears of Millions Becoming Infected

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A local health official in war-torn Yemen has warned that up to 90 percent of the population could become infected with the novel coronavirus as first case has been recorded.

The first case of the disease was recorded in the large eastern Hadhramaut Province, the country’s emergency committee to combat Covid-19 announced on Friday. The patient is in stable condition and is receiving treatment, the officials said, RT reported.

Yemen has been devastated after a Riyadh-led coalition launched a brutal bombing campaign and a naval blockade against the poverished country. The conflict was exacerbated by a deadly cholera outbreak and widespread famine, leaving more than 24 million people in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

Yemeni officials have sounded the alarm on the nation’s extreme vulnerability to Covid-19 due to the collapse of the healthcare system during the constant warfare.

Taha Al-Mutawakel, the health minister of the government in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, warned earlier this week that the country’s hospitals have only 1,500 beds.

“If the epidemic enters Yemen, we will need one million beds in just two months,” he told lawmakers, as quoted by local media, warning that in the worst-case scenario, up to 28 million people – around 90 percent of Yemen’s population – could be infected in “weeks.”

The minister called on the UN and other world organizations to provide Yemen with ventilators and other life-saving equipment.

The Saudi-led Coalition announced a two-week ceasefire starting on Thursday. Riyadh said the decision was made following a call by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Apart from the appeal regarding Yemen, Guterres stressed that an “immediate global ceasefire” is needed so that war-torn regions can focus on combatting the pandemic.

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