Three new coronavirus cases in Yemen bring confirmed total to 10

UN fears coronavirus could be spreading undetected among acutely malnourished population amid inadequate testing.

A health worker wearing a protecitve suit disinfects a market amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sanaa
A health worker disinfects a market amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus in Yemen's capital, Sanaa [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]

Yemen has reported three new coronavirus cases, two in the city of Aden and one in Taiz province, the national emergency coronavirus committee has said, bringing the total number of infections to 10 with two deaths.

The United Nations says it fears that COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, could be spreading undetected among an acutely malnourished population with inadequate testing capabilities.

The virus has been diagnosed in three provinces in the vulnerable country which has been mired in conflict for more than five years.

The new case in Taiz had been in contact with the southwestern province’s first infection which was announced on Friday, the emergency coronavirus committee said in a Twitter post on Saturday.

The governor of Taiz on Saturday announced that he was closing the province’s borders for two weeks, with the exception of supplies of food and other essential goods, in order to prevent the virus from spreading.

Yemen recorded its first case of COVID-19 in southern Hadramut province on April 10. On Wednesday, it announced five infections in Aden, with two deaths.

The country is already grappling with what the UN describes the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the result of a conflict between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebel group which drove the government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.

The World Health Organization has said it fears that COVID-19 will severely affect Yemen, as the population has some of the lowest levels of immunity to disease compared with other countries.

Approximately 80 percent of the population, about 24 million people, rely on humanitarian aid and 10 million are at risk of starvation.

Source: News Agencies