Yemen Declares Aden ‘Infested’ with Coronavirus
Yemen’s internationally recognized government has declared the southern port city of Aden an “infested” zone, with 35 confirmed infections from the coronavirus and four deaths. This brings to 51 the number of confirmed cases in government-controlled areas of the civil war-wracked country as of Sunday night, with eight deaths. Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who hold the capital Sanaa and other large population clusters, primarily in the western part of the country, have so far reported only two confirmed cases and a single death, with the Saudi-backed government – provisionally based in Aden – accusing the rebels of a cover-up. International health organizations say Yemen has long been on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe due to hunger and illness brought on by more than five years of clashes over ports and supply routes. They now believe that the entire country is awash from the pandemic and that a lack of testing supplies is what is standing behind the low figures. A Saudi-led Sunni coalition helping the government in its fight against the Shi’ite Houthis says it is adhering to a cease-fire declared at the request of world bodies amidst the pandemic, but is accusing the rebels of continuing to fight in landlocked, often mountainous areas of the country.