The measures include closing land borders along battle lines and conflicting instructions on the use of cash

Officials in Sana'a, Aden announce new measures to fight coronavirus

Yemen’s internationally recognized government closed the country’s last functioning land border entry point for travelers on Tuesday, as part of measures to fight the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The closure of the Al-Wadeeah land port, located on the Saudi border with Yemen’s eastern governorate of Hadhramout, will only be open for commercial shipping and the transportation of humanitarian relief.

The director of the land port, Mutlaq Al-Sayari, called on travelers to abide by the instructions. Free testing was provided for nearly 32,000 travelers by the health ministry and local authority in Hadhramout, and the results were negative, he told the government-run Saba news agency.  

In an address Monday evening, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed told the Yemeni people not to underestimate the seriousness of the disease in light of its rapid spread. He also emphasized the need for preventive care due to the lack of vaccines, effective treatment and Yemen’s damaged health care infrastructure.  

In the same address, Saeed called on Houthi officials in Sana’a to reverse the ban on new government-printed currency in Houthi-controlled areas in order to pay the salaries of the health sector and other government employees. 

Houthi authorities, for their part, cited coronavirus in calling on people to limit the use of all cash in favor of an electronic payment system the rebel government has launched. 

The Houthi-run High Ministerial Committee for Epidemic Control announced the closure of land ports between Houthi- and government-controlled areas to all travelers for two weeks, starting on Monday, but said cargo shipping will continue. 

The committee also moved to abolish the use of fingerprint technology and stressed that the authorities should provide sterilization tools in all government departments and assign quarantine areas where procedural checks can be carried out in accordance with the Houthi-run Health ministry. 

Exams at schools, universities, colleges and other institutions were also suspended indefinitely in Houthi-controlled areas on Monday. 



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