Hadhramout, Shabwa, Marib, Taiz and Houthi-controlled areas are taking a variety of approaches to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak
As Yemen confirms first case of COVID-19, governorates pursue diversity of actions
The government’s Supreme National Emergency Committee for Coronavirus announced Friday that Yemen’s first confirmed case is in the coastal city of Al-Sheher in Hadhramout governorate. The patient, a port worker at Al-Sheher port, is in stable condition, according to the committee's spokesman Dr. Ali Al-Waleedi, the spokesman. Measures to protect his family are being taken and an investigation into all recent contacts with others is underway, Al-Waleedi said in a press conference Friday.
Meanwhile, Hadhramout Gov. Major General Faraj Al-Bahsani issued orders for a daily curfew for the towns of Al-Sheher, Al-Dis Al-Sharqiya and Qusay’ar from 8 a.m. until 6 a.m., starting Friday. The rest of the governorate will be under curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Al-Bahsani also ordered the closure of markets and mosques, and prohibited gatherings.
Port Al-Sheher will be closed for one week, which could be extended, while the port and its docks are sterilized. Current staff will be quarantined for two weeks.
Marib’s Director of the Health and Population Office Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Shaddadi told Almasdar Online that the governorate was divided into 77 residential health squares each assigned teams of health and field workers to cope with the virus. The University of Saba in Marib city is preparing nine isolation centers on campus.
There is a significant shortage of equipment, Al-Shaddadi said.
"[Our] partner organizations are making promises that have not yet been [fulfilled], but as long as they continue to plan and prepare, we are optimistic that things will be better," he said.
In Shabwa governorate on Thursday, Gov. Mohammed Saleh Bin Adyo disbursed $30,000, $300 each to 100 patients from Shabwa governorate who sought treatment in Egypt and are now stranded there due to the suspension of flights as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The money is supposed to ease the burden of the unanticipated grounding of Shabwa’s residents abroad.
Also on Thursday, the chairman of the Emergency Committee in Taiz governorate, Dr. Abdul Qawi Al-Makhlafi, ordered preachers and imams of mosques not to disregard preventive guidelines to deal with COVID-19.
The Ministry of Endowment’s decision to close mosques and ban gatherings has been ignored by residents around the country, including in Houthi-controlled governorates. Houthi authorities have not issued guidelines banning mosque gatherings or calling for social distancing.
Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs