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UN warns coronavirus may have spread 'undetected' in Yemen

Officials establish a new department for coronavirus patients at Zaid Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 28 March 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]
Officials establish a new department for coronavirus patients at Zaid Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 28 March 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, yesterday warned that the coronavirus might have spread "undetected" in Yemen.

"There is now a very real probability that the virus has been circulating undetected and unmitigated within communities which increases the likelihood of a surge of cases which may quickly overwhelm health capacities," Grande said in a statement, adding that "since the first confirmed COVID case, we have warned that the virus is now in Yemen and may quickly spread."

She warned that all the factors that contribute to the virus's transmission are present in Yemen including "low levels of general immunity, high levels of acute vulnerability and a fragile, overwhelmed health system".

"There's no time to lose. People have to be informed accurately and quickly about what is happening so they can do what's necessary to protect themselves and their families," she added.

Yemen confirmed the first case of the coronavirus on 10 April, the patient was later said to have recovered.

READ: Yemen: Houthis force Sanaa merchants to pay zakat to them instead of the poor

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CoronavirusInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsUNYemen
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