By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Yemen reported its first case of COVID-19 this week. The case was confirmed on 10 April in Hadhramout Governorate, a region under the control of Internationally Recognized Government. The World Health Organization is providing support to Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population in the response.

Yemen map/L’Américain

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, announced a temporary cessation of hostilities in Yemen.

Over five years of brutal war in Yemen have left millions of Yemenis weakened by malnutrition and disease, and decimated Yemen’s health system, according to a Joint statement by 59 Nongovernmental Organizations.

The imminent threat of COVID-19 will exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation: 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, the majority of whom are women and children; two-thirds of the country lacks adequate access to clean water and sanitation; millions are living on the brink of starvation; nearly 20 million people lack access to adequate healthcare; and cholera, dengue, and other preventable diseases are already rife. These factors create an environment dangerously conducive to the severe and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, threatening countless civilian lives.

A ceasefire alone cannot stop the spread of COVID-19 in Yemen. All parties must immediately lift restrictions and end interference with vital humanitarian operations; ensure immediate access to populations in need; facilitate the movement of humanitarian workers and goods and of commercial imports; and end blockades and other actions and policies that prevent or restrict essential commercial imports into Yemen, to maintain the humanitarian response for the millions of Yemenis who need aid to survive, and to support Yemenis’ economic livelihood.

Simultaneously Saudi Arabia announced a contribution of USD 500 million to the UN humanitarian response plan for Yemen in 2020 and USD 25 million to help combat the spread of COVID 19.