Following deaths of professors in Sana’a, faculty suspect COVID-19 outbreak in university residence
The death of Sana’a University professor Mahmoud Daoud on Friday in Sana’a, which follows the death a week prior of Sana’a University president Dr. Ahmed Al-Daghar, both of whom tested positive for COVID-19, has drawn concerns of an outbreak of the deadly disease at the faculty residence of the university.
Dr. Daoud, who previously served as president of Taiz University, and Dr. Al-Daghar had been living at residence for faculty members, which is located inside the compound of Sana’a University.
A faculty member at the university told Almasdar Online that a number of other professors and staff living in the residence are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and that it is believed the virus has spread throughout the residence.
Yemen is experiencing a steep rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, but due to a lack of testing and a host of interrelated reasons the actual number of cases is believed to dwarf official statistics. On Friday, Auke Lootsma, Resident Representative of UNDP in Yemen, said that all of Yemen’s 38 COVID-19 hospitals are fully occupied yet the number of confirmed cases had only reached 237 by the end of May, with 45 associated deaths. “This is likely a gross underestimation of the numbers,” he warned.
The Houthis have been heavily criticized by international humanitarian organizations for their delayed response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly after it became apparent the de-facto authorities have covered up the existence of known cases in Sana’a.
The United Nations says that the secrecy and lack of transparency in informing people about the spread of the disease will reduce the chances of containing the epidemic in Yemen, affect the speed of response by the international community, the response of donor countries to the crisis, and the need to provide assistance to help Yemen cope with the pandemic.
Edited by Alkhatab Alrawhani