COVID-19 cases are rising in Yemen, where 80-percent of the population depends on humanitarian aid to survive another day. Nathaniel*, a Christian worker focused on Yemen, says a coronavirus outbreak would be devastating.
According to Reuters, most of Yemen’s reported COVID-19 infections were discovered within the last ten days; health experts say this indicates community transmission. At the same time, the World Health Organization is closing dozens of its major health programs over the coming weeks.
Along with 24 million Yemenis requiring humanitarian aid to survive, “[15.9] million of the people in Yemen are already suffering from hunger [and] you’ve got five years of civil war that has ravaged the country,” Nathaniel explains.
“All of [these conditions] set it up to be a potentially catastrophic situation when you layer COVID-19 on top of it.”
Arabian Peninsula vs. COVID-19
At press time, the number of COVID-19 cases in Yemen stood at a mere 128 with only 20 deaths. On Thursday, an NGO worker in southern Yemen warned of underreporting and described these conditions to BBC News:
Our teams on the ground are seeing how people are being sent away from hospitals, breathing heavily or even collapsing. People are dying because they can’t get the treatment that would normally save their lives. There are patients who go from hospital to hospital and yet cannot get admitted.
“You’ve got hospitals that are closed that have been damaged by the war; you’ve got people dying that can’t even get treatment,” Nathaniel adds. “There are only 500 ventilators in the entire country, and only four labs that can that can even test for the virus.” More about facilities and resources here.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray this difficult season would cause people of different faiths throughout the Arabian Peninsula to seek and encounter Christ.
- Pray believers in the AP would have discernment in all situations to know the Lord’s will. Pray for courage and opportunities to share the peace they have in Jesus with those around them.