Aden is currently facing the threat of conflict and lethal diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and COVID-19. The spike in patients who died after showing symptoms such as respiratory issues, fever and weakness raises concerns that the number of coronavirus infections in the city might be considerably higher than reported.
As of May 13, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Aden is 41, including 5 deaths. Three more cases have also been reported in Taiz and Ibb. Nationwide, the World Health Organisation put the total number of confirmed infections to 72 cases, with 13 deaths. The health infrastructure in the country is hardly equipped to handle the outbreak. Up until the outbreak, only half of the health facilities in the country were fully operational and that number has gone down since hospitals are closing. There are only 500 ventilators in Yemen, and just four labs for the whole country that do coronavirus testing. As of May 2, the number of reported Covid-19 tests completed was 200.
Some existing health facilities have been re-purposed into isolation centres. 38 Covid-19 isolation units have been set up across the country, and there are 520 ICU beds in total available for COVID19 patients.
Save the Children is supporting four isolation units and some 75 health facilities across the country, and it’s raising awareness about prevention measures against COVID-19
Still no ceasefire
The warring parties have hopelessly failed to implement a lasting ceasefire and that is directly leading to a spike in deaths, both from Covid-19 and other diseases – for which they should be held accountable. The violence needs to stop so the Yemeni people, health workers and aid organisations can focus on curbing the virus.