Houthi Rebels Trivialize Covid-19 Spread In Yemen
The situation of the death is as grim as the ones who are struggling to remain alive in the hands of the silent devil called Corona Virus in Yemen. The Houthi held provinces are the worst hit where the rebels are not only suppressing the actual figures of the spread but are secretly burying the perishing ones and have warned none of the grave diggers to divulge reasons for the deaths.
Relatives are not told the whereabouts of those who go to hospitals and never come back. Instead, they are told that the latter have perished under war circumstances. All bodies are disinfected, wrapped in plastic sheets and then a piece of linen and then buried in six feet holes in the earth. Those who are trying to divulge the facts are being severely punished for speaking out.
The situation in Yemen is far worse than what is being shown to the world. With a completely non-existent medical system, the country is also at a loss of medical staff. Over and above this, the Houthi rebels have gone ahead and said that things are in control as their health minister is putting his mind together to develop a vaccine that can be used worldwide to cure Covid-19.
There is also news that Houthis are forcing doctors to administer the ‘mercy injection’ and induce death to those who are admitting themselves in the meager hospital services in Yemen cities. Humanity is at stake and the human rights organizations are at knot’s end as Houthis continue to misdirect the world with dubious figures. They have been claiming that things are all under control and that they are well prepared to handle the pandemic.
The Iran backed Houthi rebels have a stronghold over much of Yemen’s north and the capital of Sanaa. There is no way to control the spread of the virus in Yemen because of the obvious reasons of lack of water and sanitization systems. A decade of war and aerial bombings has damaged the water and sanitation systems. Many families, especially among the millions displaced by fighting, can barely afford one meal a day.
The country has merely 500 ventilators and 700 ICU beds nationwide. There is one oxygen cylinder per month for every 2.5 million people. According to Richard Brennan, the WHO’s regional emergency director, who spoke to the media the COVID-19 deaths in Yemen are in fact in hundreds and cases are in thousands, based on what he has heard from numerous health providers in Yemen. Lack of proper numbers will only hinder the external medical emergency resources to affected Yemenis.
A lawmaker has told media agencies that people now fear brutality at the hands of Houthis, if they seek medical attention for being infected. They are opting to keeping quiet. At the Jibla hospital, which has has been turned into a COVID-19 isolation facility; the rebels have appointed a security supervisor to control the flow of information in and out of the hospital.
Cemeteries are reportedly getting full and are going to out of capacity soon. One wonders what new card does the Houthi rebels have up their sleeves as cases of deaths increase in Yemen and there is no way of saving lives in such grim and unhygienic living conditions.