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Coronavirus death rates in Yemen's Aden could exceed its wartime fatalities

June 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In Yemen's Aden, coronavirus-related death rates are exceeding wartime fatalities with the health sector becoming overwhelmed and a drop in international aid crippling healthcare work.

In the first half of May, the city recorded 950 deaths -- nearly four times as many as the 251 deaths in the whole month of March, according to a Ministry of Health report.

Those 950 deaths in two weeks in May represent nearly half the number of casualties the city suffered in all of 2015, when the country's civil war was raging.

"Yemen has faced wars and cannot handle three pandemics, economic collapse and a war and the coronavirus," Dr. Ishraq Al-Subei, the health official responsible for the response to the disease told CNN.

But the huge surge in deaths in Aden is being seen as a warning of worse to come, as the health sector becomes overwhelmed and more people die of treatable diseases.

His family couldn't find a hospital to take him to when his fever started to rise rapidly in early May. He was in a coma when he was admitted by the only hospital in Aden designated to treat Covid-19 at the time.

The family had the funds for medical treatment, but Aden's hospitals were either closed or full.

It is warning of a collapsing heath sector and the possibility that Yemen's death toll may continue to rise dramatically -- possibly exceeding the total number of dead during five years of war, when the country endured what was considered the world's "worst humanitarian crisis. "

"So In the time of Covid what this means is that we're going to see approximately half of the hospitals which we are currently supporting in the country closed down -- and that's going to be happening in just the next few weeks.

"A week before the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Yemen we ran out of money and had to stop allowances for 10,000 frontline health workers across the country.

There are just 60 hospital beds dedicated to Covid-19 in Aden, which has a population of roughly 800,000.

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