The Houthi militia in Yemen is following in the footsteps of the Iranian regime, which is exacerbating the country’s crises, the most prominent of which is currently the outbreak of the corona virus, as it has swept the capital, Sanaa, which is under the control of the militia.
Despite this, the Houthis refuse to disclose the extent of the spread of the virus in the governorates under its control, preventing the announcement of cases of infection and death, which international organizations have described as “ignorance, indulgence and indifference,” warning of the dangers of a media blackout regarding the corona outbreak in Yemen.
Yemeni activists reported on social media that the Houthi militia is constantly silent about the outbreak of the virus, despite doctors’ confirmation that large numbers of infection among citizens have occurred, and the militia is treating the infected in public hospitals while allowing them to mix with other patients who are not infected with the virus.
Yemeni media revealed that the corona virus has spread to a large extent in Taiz and Sanaa, which has caused a state of panic among citizens about the nature of the measures taken to confront it by the Houthi health authorities.
For his part, Raphael Veicht, head of the Doctors Without Borders mission in Yemen, announced that the Yemeni governorates are witnessing a large influx of corona patients, as the second wave of the virus has exhausted the capacity of medical facilities in the country.
“Yemen lacks all aspects of intervention to combat corona and needs greater international support, from public health messages, to vaccines and oxygen therapy…support is needed in all areas,” Veicht said.
Meanwhile, United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a daily press conference in New York on Friday, April 9, that more than 5,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic. This number doubled in just one month, indicating a dangerous and worrying escalation of the virus.
Dujarric added, “The number of deaths is on the rise, as nearly a thousand deaths have been recorded so far… a third of these have been confirmed since mid-March.”
“We know that these numbers are significantly less than the actual disease burden in the country, due to limited testing capabilities and underreporting, as well as challenges in accessing any treatment,” he said.
Dujarric noted that health partners are working hard to expand support, including through enhanced monitoring, expanded testing and provision of essential medicines and supplies.
He confirmed that efforts are underway to vaccinate the priority groups after the arrival of the first batch of doses last week, noting that the humanitarian response plan in Yemen, which seeks to obtain $3.85 billion, has been funded to date by only 13%.
The World Health Organization called on Yemenis to follow more strict preventive measures, such as physical distancing, washing hands and wearing medical masks, especially in the areas under the control of the Iranian-backed militia.
Yemeni political analyst Mahmoud al-Taher said in a statement to the Reference that the Houthis are concealing information about the corona outbreak, and there are talks about the death of prominent Houthi leaders due to the virus, which is why there are no real statistics about infections or deaths, indicating that the Houthis have exploited this.