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#COVID-19 has yet to be documented in #Yemen, but Abdel Ilah, who manages the factory that opened three days ago, is getting ready for its arrival. “#Coronavirus is knocking on the whole world’s door,” he said.…
The five-year conflict has killed more than 100,000 and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in which many others have died. Yemen’s shattered healthcare infrastructure and already weakened population suggest the virus could wreak more havoc if takes hold.
On both sides of the divide, #Yemen has stepped up measures to contain and mitigate against coronavirus should it appear, including screening and tracking arrivals.

In #Sanaa, a rush on face masks as awareness about the disease increases has
driven up prices.

“Demand for face masks is very high right now. Some pharmacies ran out and some are keeping the masks from people,” one pharmacist in the city, Mohammed Aaglan, said.

Currently #Yemen has the capability to conduct a couple

of hundred tests to confirm an infection with the virus at centers in #Sanaa and Aden. More are on the way so a few thousand people can be tested, the WHO’s Musani said.

On Monday #Houthi authorities said they had closed land borders with
government-controlled parts of #Yemen for two weeks except to goods traffic. Last week they stopped United Nations flights from landing at Sanaa airport, the only planes that had been allowed in by the Saudi-led coalition, which controls the airspace.
Shelling and air strikes have damaged hospitals and the warring parties have occupied medical facilities and assaulted healthcare workers, a report by New York-Based Physicians for Human Rights and Yemeni human rights organisation Mwatana said.
#Yemen #YemenCantWait
Musani says the fragile health system operates at around 50% capacity and the emergence of #coronavirus would “greatly overstretch” it.

For #Sanaa labourer Ahmed Abdel Karim, however, the virus is just one more danger among many.

#YEMEN #YemenCantWait…
The collapse of #Yemen’s healthcare system has been a major contributing factor in creating what the UN says is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with two thirds of the 28 million-strong population dependent on aid to survive,…
widespread hunger and outbreaks of cholera and diptheria.

“What our report shows is how blatantly international humanitarian law has been ignored in #Yemen’s conflict and how in particular attacking healthcare facilities has a long-term and wide-reaching impact
Interviews with nearly 200 survivors and eyewitnesses identified patterns of attacks and specific violations that killed at least 96 civilians and healthcare workers and injured 230 more.…
@Mwatana documented 35 coalition aerial attacks on hospitals, clinics and vaccination centres, which it says is “evidence of [the coalition’s] disregard for these structures’ protected status and apparent unwillingness or inability to comply with the…
principles of distinction and proportionality”.

The report also criticises the coalition for a lack of transparency in its operations, adding that “it remains unclear what precautions the coalition has adopted to minimise harm to #Yemen’s health facilities and personnel”.

Among its recommendations the investigation says the #UK, #US, #Canada, #France and other countries currently facilitating weaponry and support to the coalition should immediately suspend sales contingent on respect for international humanitarian law in the coalition’s #Yemen
operations and comprehensive efforts to investigate alleged crimes and violations.

The use of mortars and artillery by the #Houthis and other non-state actors in #Yemen in densely populated areas has also damaged and destroyed healthcare facilities, the report said,
“Even those hospitals that remain open lack specialists, equipment and medicine. We currently only have 10 healthcare workers per 10,000 people instead of the standard 22. If one medical worker is arrested, injured or killed that has a huge knock-on effect,” Alfakih said.
“There are very brave healthcare professionals working in #Yemen right now. Even if they don’t talk about how tired they are, the toll is clear in their faces and their eyes.”

The analysis of the state of Yemen’s healthcare infrastructure comes amid heavy fighting in al-Jawf
province after months of relative quiet that many hoped could lead to a more permanent de-escalation in the conflict.

Coalition airstrikes in al-Jawf launched in retaliation after the Houthis shot down a warplane killed more than 30 civilians last month. On 1 March,
the Houthis seized al-#Jawf’s capital, al-Hazm, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing to neighbouring #Marib.

Worries are also mounting that #Covid_19 could have a catastrophic impact if it reaches vulnerable communities in #Yemen.…
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