Update: Houthis announce test results of suspected cases in UN housing were negative

After claiming that three UN staff in Sana’a have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on Saturday evening the Houthis’ main humanitarian body announced that the test results of the three individuals have come back negative.

“The three suspected cases of COVID-19 infection at the UN residence in Sana’a are free from the new epidemic,” the Houthi-controlled Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (SCMCHA) stated in a memorandum addressed to representatives of the UN and international organizations operating in their areas of its control. 

The announcement follows a previous memo the Houthis released on Thursday, when the group reported three suspected cases of COVID-19 among UN staff in Sana’a. The Houthis also said that the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, refrained from disclosing the names of the individuals suspected of carrying the virus. According to the Houthis, this prompted the group to halt the movement of international organizations between the governorates under their control, and prevent international and local staff from accessing their offices starting Thursday.

UN OCHA denied the Houthis’ claims that three UN staff in Sana’a were infected, or suspected of being infected, with COVID-19. An official in OCHA’s office, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press, told Almasdar Online that the information in the Houthi’s Thursday memorandum was “incorrect,” saying that “there are no cases or suspected cases of infection.” 

The Houthis called on all organizations to commit to implementing all preventive measures to counter Coronavirus, and to educate their field and office staff to prevent  transmission of epidemics and infectious diseases in the process of fulfilling their humanitarian duty."


The text of the Houthi memorandum

To: Representatives of International Organizations

Fine greetings,

The General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation sends you our best wishes and wishes you well in your work. In response to the circular sent to you yesterday on 16 April 2020, based on the email sent by the Minister of Public Health and Population, and the Memorandum of the World Health Organization (WHO) on 17 April 2020, which assured us that the results of the tests of samples for the three suspected cases (inside the United Nations residence) are free of COVID-19 infection, thank God. We wish them safety and health to continue their humanitarian duty with the rest of the humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen.

We would also like to emphasize to all organizations the need to commit to the implementation of all preventive measures, to educate their field staff and office staff to take care against the transmission of epidemics and infectious diseases in the line of duty, and to apply everything that will ensure the safety of staff (foreigners and locals).

All organizations (international and local) will continue to be dealt with in accordance with the procedures previously followed, and you will be provided with the new mechanism of action in the coming days.

We wish everyone health and safety,

Accept our regards.




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