In Aden, Yemen, deaths have reportedly surged to at least five times higher than normal, raising concerns and fears that the novel coronavirus has been spreading unhindered in the Yemeni port city. With war-torn capital’s healthcare in shambles and ill-equipped medical facilities, hundreds more than what has been reported have succumbed to the COVID-19 disease since the first case was recorded at the government's interim capital over a month ago.
According to Saddam al-Haidari, a physician at a public hospital, the death toll from the coronavirus registered in the city has "increased seven-fold", local media reported. Hospitals, in several areas, refused to admit the patients with COVID-19 like symptoms in recent days, health sources told a news agency. Medical facilities lacked the equipment and the PPEs to be able to treat the coronavirus. Not just that, several doctors in Aden abandoned their jobs due to lack of access to protective gear, and many hospitals shut down, as per media reports.
Save the Children's director of programmes in Yemen, Mohammed Alshamaa, reportedly said that teams on the ground witnessed how critical patients were sent away that reported respiratory distress. Some even collapsed near the hospitals, he added. An average of 50 deaths per day have been reported since May 7, which is five times higher than the baseline average of 10 deaths per day, the director stressed. Head of the Civil Affairs Department, that issues death certificates in Aden, told a news agency that over 86 deaths have been reported in Aden due to several epidemics and fevers in the last 24 hours and there was no treatment.
Furthermore, the internationally recognised government and the World Health Organisation criticised the rebels for their lack of transparency, as just one death, has been recorded in territory under their control, according to reports. "We're hearing from our teams on the ground that there are patients who are dying at the door of the hospital, there are families who have lost two or three family members in the past few weeks, so that's particularly concerning," advocacy media and communications director for Save the Children, Yousra Semmache said. At a morgue service, a gravedigger in Aden said that he had never seen such constant flow of dead and piles of bodies — even in a city that has seen multiple bouts of battles during the civil war, a news agency reported.
(Image Credit: AP)