Due to a shortage of testing devices, medical staff were unable to confirm whether the government official, Moqbel Al-Qutaibi, had contracted #COVID-19 

Aden government official dies of suspected coronavirus infection

The head of a government department in Aden, Moqbel Al-Qutaibi, died in a COVID-19 quarantine center in the interim capital hours after his admission for suspected coronavirus, a medical professional not authorized to speak to the press told Almasdar Online. 

The source said that Al-Qutaibi, who is the head of the local authority department in President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s cabinet, was transferred earlier on Wednesday to the quarantine center at Al-Amal Hospital after experiencing symptoms similar to coronavirus. Because of the shortage of testing devices, medical staff were unable to confirm whether he had the novel coronavirus. 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said Thursday that after discussions with local authorities it had taken over the management of the quarantine center to which Al-Qutaibi was transferred. 

"Local health authorities remain responsible for the COVID-19 Comprehensive Response in Aden, including testing and management of rapid response teams," MSF said in a statement Thursday, clarifying its role in the coronavirus response.

Aden governorate has the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Yemen, though in the absence of widespread testing the actual tally of infections is likely much higher. As of Friday, the Supreme National Emergency Committee for Coronavirus has recorded 34 cases in governorates controlled by the internationally recognized government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC). Twenty-five of those cases were identified in Aden, and four of them have died. 

The Houthis have announced one confirmed case of coronavirus in areas the group controls, although a Houthi-affiliated testing lab has documented four cases.

 In Marib governorate, the deputy governor has opened a quarantine center in the capital city of the same name for the isolation and treatment of coronavirus infections. The center has 64 beds, a screening suite for suspected cases, a ward for the treatment of confirmed cases and a health isolation ward for cases with complications..

On a related note, the government and the Islamic Bank Group on Thursday agreed to reallocate $32 million in aid funds dedicated to previously planned projects to counter the spread of COVID-19.  

The minister of planning and international cooperation, Dr. Najib Al-Awaj, discussed the decision in a video conversation with the Islamic Bank Group Chairman Bandar Bin Hajjar, according to the government-run wing of Saba News agency.


Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs 



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