A medical worker in Sana’a accused Houthi authorities of "misleading and minimizing the seriousness of the H1N1" swine flu epidemic
Houthis claim 94 deaths from swine flu epidemic in three months
The Houthi-run Ministry of Health in Sana’a has announced the deaths of 94 people from the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, following accusations that the ministry misled the public about the dangers of the disease and its presence.
Minister Taha Al-Mutawakkil said samples from suspected swine flu cases have been sent to international laboratories to investigate, due to the lack of certain cases’ response to treatment.
"We do not rule out changes in the virus's genes as part of an act of hostility against the Yemeni people," he said.
On Monday, a medical worker at an international NGO in Sana’a accused Houthi authorities of "misleading and minimizing the seriousness of the H1N1" swine flu epidemic, which has recently spread in Sana’a and other areas under the group's control.
The source told Almasdar Online that the ministry’s spokesman, Yusuf Al-Hadadi, lied about the number of swine flu deaths in Houthi-controlled areas when he claimed that only 42 people had died in the past two months. Data issued by the ministry's epidemiological surveillance offices said that the number of deaths in the week leading up to Sunday, Dec. 22 reached 39 in Sana’a city alone, noting that the data of all cases are documented.
Ministry of Health Undersecretary Mohammed Al-Mansour, who announced the updated death tool from swine flue, added that 20,300 suspected cases of dengue fever, including 68 deaths, were reported in December. Nearly 2,500 children under the age of five contracted the mosquito-borne viral illness in the same month, 16 of whom died, he said.
Activists in Hodeidah governorate on Yemen’s Red Sea coast recently disputed the dengue fever death toll provided by local authorities there.