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Yemen seals border with Saudi Arabia over virus fears

A medical worker measures body temperature of a man at a state-run facility as a precautionary measure to combat COVID-19 on 24 March 2020 in Sanaa, Yemen. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]
A medical worker measures body temperature of a man at a state-run facility as a precautionary measure to combat COVID-19 on 24 March 2020 in Sanaa, Yemen. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

Yemen has decided to seal its only remaining border crossing with Saudi Arabia to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the war-ravaged country, local sources said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

Yemeni authorities have decided to close the al-Wadia border crossing with Saudi Arabia from Wednesday until further notice, sources at the border told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Wadia remains the only transition point between the two countries after other border crossings were closed due to the conflict continuing in Yemen since September 2014.

While Yemen has not reported any coronavirus case yet, the number of cases in Saudi Arabia rose to 2,795 on Wednesday, with the death toll at 41, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

WFP: Food aid to Houthi-held area could be suspended 

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.

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CoronavirusMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaYemen
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