Yemen's besieged Taiz confirms coronavirus case amid fears of devastating outbreak

Yemen's besieged Taiz confirms coronavirus case amid fears of devastating outbreak
Taiz reported its first case of Covid-19 on Friday, raising concerns that the virus may be spreading across the country undetected.
2 min read
02 May, 2020
Yemen reported its first cases of Covid-19 last week [Getty]
Yemen’s third largest city of Taiz reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday, raising concerns for an outbreak in the besieged city as the virus continues to spread undetected across the country.

Yemen’s emergency coronavirus committee confirmed the positive diagnosis of a 40-year-old man in the southwestern Taiz governorate, where control of the city is split between Houthi rebels and government forces.

“The patient is receiving care at a quarantine centre and measures have been taken by the monitoring teams and the health department for those who interacted with him,” it added.

The man allegedly travelled to Taiz by car from the southern coastal city of Aden on 27 April, where a number of “mysterious” deaths prompted authorities to confirm the presence of Covid-19 in the city.

The patient, identified by Yemen’s disease early warning system, as Ehab Mahyoub, is currently held at Taiz’s Joumhuriya hospital, according to Reuters.

At least ten people that may have come into contact with Mahyoub have been instructed to quarantine, though none have shown symptoms of the virus.

Taiz has been divided between Houthi and government control for several years.

Last week, Yemen reported its first cases of the coronavirus, which have now increased to 7.

Two deaths have been officially reported from the virus, though a number of “mysterious” deaths in Aden have been reported in the past two weeks.

Yemen's devastating five-year war has introduced air strikes, death and poverty to a nation that was already listed as one of the most impoverished in the world. 

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition intervened to back the government in March 2015, prompting the UN to label the situation in the country as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemen's healthcare system has also been blighted by years of war that has driven millions from their homes.

The deaths come after aid organisations warned any coronavirus outbreak could have dire consequences for Yemenis, while the United Nations expressed concern that it could be spreading undetected across the country.

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