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United Nations: Yemen's health system ‘collapsed’ amid coronavirus outbreak 

May 23, 2020 at 10:32 am

Coronavirus outbreak in Yemen [Alquds]

Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the United Nations (UN) office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, announced in a statement in Geneva that: “Relief organisations in Yemen are operating on the basis that there is an outbreak throughout the country.”

“We hear from these organisations that Yemen is on the edge now. The situation is deeply disturbing and they are talking about how the health system has in effect collapsed,” he added.

Laerke pointed out that relief workers claim they have been forced to refuse to help people because they did not have enough medical oxygen or enough supplies of personal protective equipment.

Laerke also disclosed that a flight transporting international relief workers landed in Aden on Tuesday after opening the airspace alternately, adding that Yemeni citizens are doing most of the fieldwork.

READ: EU donates $60m to help Yemen curb coronavirus spread

Likewise, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) revealed on Thursday that the main centre for treating the coronavirus in south Yemen, which is run by the organisation, detected at least 68 deaths in a little more than two weeks.

MSF added that the number, which exceeds the figures declared by the Yemeni authorities so far, indicates a wider disaster unfolding in the city.

The latest data published by the World Health Organisation unveiled that the Yemeni authorities informed the organisation that they had detected 184 cases and 30 deaths with the virus.

However, according to Laerke: “The actual number is definitely much higher.”

He added that the UN claims that it will seek to raise $2 billion for Yemen to keep relief programs ongoing until the end of the year.

The spokesman also affirmed that the UN and Saudi Arabia will host a pledging conference via the Internet within ten days: “It is vital that the international community intensify its efforts now and at the pledging conference on 2 June because we are heading toward a financial decline.”

“If we do not ensure the continuous availability of financial resources, these programs, which save people’s lives and are absolutely essential in fighting COVID-19, will have to be suspended,” Laerke expressed, “and then the world will see what may happen in a country that lacks an effective health system to combat COVID-19, and I don’t think the world would like to see that scene.”

READ: Yemen COVID-19 cases higher than reported