UK study predicts 85,000 Yemen coronavirus deaths in 'worst case' scenario

UK study predicts 85,000 Yemen coronavirus deaths in 'worst case' scenario
Modelling by the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine suggests Yemen could see tens of thousands of deaths from Covid-19.
2 min read
19 June, 2020
Yemen's healthcare system has all but collapsed during the course of the country's war [Getty]

The number of coronavirus infections in war-ravaged Yemen may already have passed one million, according to a UK government-funded study.

Modelling conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine predicts that up to 10 million people could be infected with Covid-19, with between 62,000 and 85,000 deaths in a worst case scenario.

During a "virtual visit" involving calls to senior Yemeni and UN officials, the UK's Minister for the Middle East urged cooperation from all parties to address Yemen's worsening health crisis.

"This visit has allowed me to hear about the devastating impact coronavirus is already having in Yemen, and I was deeply concerned to hear that there have been over a million cases. All parties to the conflict must work with the UN so there is safe access for food and medicine supplies," MP James Cleverly said.

The minister emphasised the need for further support for Yemen via the UN, which earlier this month fell $1 billion short of a $2.4 billion fundraising target at a Saudi-hosted pledging conference.

The UK, which has come under fire for supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition during the course of Yemen's war,  pledged £160 million ($200900000) at the conference to support Yemen's coronavirus response.

Yemen is facing what the UNs calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The ongoing war has killed more than 100,000 and displaced 4 million people. 

Many Yemenis are afflicted by malnutrition and disease but the country's healthcare system has all but collapsed, leaving it extremely vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19.

Yemen's government has officially recorded hundreds of coronavirus cases, including 208 deaths. 

But according to the United Nations, testing and reporting remain limited and it is likely that most areas in the country have been impacted. 

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