DUBAI: Yemeni authorities reported multiple coronavirus infections for the first time yesterday, after the United Nations said it feared the disease could be spreading undetected in a country where millions are already facing famine.
The five new COVID-19 cases were detected in Aden, a southern port which is interim headquarters of a government ousted from the capital Sanaa more than five years ago by the Iran-aligned Houthi group in a war that has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
Previously Yemen had detected only a single case. International health officials have long warned that Yemen’s population could be extremely vulnerable to an outbreak, which would be difficult to detect in a country where health infrastructure has been degraded by poverty and war. An emergency committee for coronavirus maintained by the Aden-based government said in a tweet it would release more details about the five new cases soon.
Authorities told media they have been unable to track down “patient zero” for Yemen’s infections, an important step in tracing people potentially exposed to infection and containing an outbreak. —Agencies