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Yemen intensive care units full with COVID-19 patients

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

Occupancy in intensive care units in quarantine centres has reached maximum capacity in Yemen because of a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days, Yemen's health minister said on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Authorities are dealing with a shortage of intensive care equipment and oxygen tubes required to treat COVID-19 patients, Qasim Buhaibeh said on Twitter.

Buhaibeh urged Yemenis to comply with COVID-19 measures, wear masks and stay away from crowded places.

In a statement on Thursday, Buhaibeh encouraged his counterparts in Arab countries to support Yemen in its struggle against the virus and other epidemic diseases.

The overall virus tally in Yemen has reached 3,126 confirmed cases, including 723 fatalities, while the number of recoveries stands at 520, according to the  National Committee for the Fight Against the Coronavirus.

There is no data on the number of cases and fatalities in areas controlled by the Houthis.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sana'a.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world's worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80 per cent or about 30 million people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation.

READ: UN: At least 400,000 Yemen children under 5 could die of starvation this year

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