In Yemen deaths increase for covid-19

May 16, 2020

According to official sources in Aden, the provisory base of the Yemeni Government, at least 385 deaths have occurred with coronavirus-compatible symptoms in the last week. Save the Children warned that according to these data, it would be a frequency of 50 deaths per day, 5 times higher than before May 7.The situation in Yemen is alarming, many hospitals in the city have been closed, and half of the medical staff refuse to provide duties due to the lack of adequate personal protection tools. From this week, the two main clinics open provide emergency assistance only and treat patients with fever but not those with respiratory problems. The admission of cases is suspended even for paediatric cases, and only emergency gynaecological or obstetrics activities such as childbirth assistance, are operational.

Many private hospitals are closed or treat only chronic cases but without respiratory symptoms or fever. There are already multiple cases of people who died from failure to access health care. “Our field workers are seeing cases of patients rejected by hospitals, who are breathing heavily or collapsing.

Some people die because they cannot receive the treatment that can save them in a normal situation, wandering from one hospital to another without being admitted. We know of families who have lost two or more relatives in the past few weeks. These are all signs of a pandemic that is taking hold in the country. The treatment centers we support are making every effort to prepare for the worst, but we need personal protective equipment, beds, and fans”.Mohammed Alshamaa, Programs Director of Save the Children in Yemen said.

The coronavirus emergency in Yemen has added to an already dramatic situation. The city of Aden is facing threats of conflict and deadly diseases such as dengue, chikungunya simultaneously. The spike in patients who died with respiratory symptoms, fever and weakness multiply concerns that the number of coronavirus infections in the city is much higher than reported. According to local activists, the Yemeni health system is not equipped to handle the epidemic, only half of the health facilities are working.

In Yemen, only 500 fans are available, and only 4 laboratories can make the COVID-19 tests.Local authorities converted some clinics into Covid-19 isolation centers, which in all are 38 in the country, and the intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients are 520.Yemen has been mired in a devastating conflict for the past five years, between Iran-backed rebels and Saudi-backed government forces.Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict relief agencies say. The UN says. Yemen is “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” with more than 24 million people in need of assistance.

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