Yemeni minister: Houthi violations kill 5 Hodeidah port staff

Yemeni minister: Houthi violations kill 5 Hodeidah port staff
A general view shows the port of the Yemeni city of Hodeidah on June 24, 2018. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 02 July 2018

Yemeni minister: Houthi violations kill 5 Hodeidah port staff

Yemeni minister: Houthi violations kill 5 Hodeidah port staff
  • The deputy minister stated that Houthi control of Hodeidah and the port has “exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and increased the suffering of Yemeni people”
  • 11 Yemeni political parties called on the international community to support efforts to restore the province of Hodeidah in full and the departure of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia

DUBAI: A Yemeni government official claimed that Houthi crimes and violations against staff working at the Hodeidah port caused the death of five workers, the Saudi press agency reported on Sunday.

Deputy Minister of Transport, Nasser Sharif, said that the since Houthis took over of the port of Hodeidah three years ago, militias abused staff and committed violations against them, including replacing staff members with members from their militia who lack basics of navigational work.

In a statement broadcast by the Yemeni official news agency, he said that the aim of these violations was to take control of the port and smuggle arms into the country.  

Sharif added that the militias have taken the port’s revenues and used them for their military efforts.

The deputy minister stated that Houthi control of Hodeidah and the port has “exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and increased the suffering of Yemeni people.”

Meanwhile, 11 Yemeni political parties called on the international community to support efforts to restore the province of Hodeidah in full and the departure of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, including the protection of civilians in accordance with Security Council resolutions.

In a statement, the parties expressed their appreciation for the efforts of UN envoy Martin Griffiths and his commitments to restart peace talks.  

The parties stressed the need to adhere to the political solution and for the Houthis to withdraw from governmental institutions and surrender weapons to the internationally recognized government, as well as release prisoners, abductees.


Lebanon approves law to import vaccines as coronavirus hits new record

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a legislative session, as Lebanon's parliament approved a law that paves the way for the government to ink deals for coronavirus vaccinations, at UNESCO Palace in Beirut, Lebanon January 15, 2021. (Reuters)
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a legislative session, as Lebanon's parliament approved a law that paves the way for the government to ink deals for coronavirus vaccinations, at UNESCO Palace in Beirut, Lebanon January 15, 2021. (Reuters)
Updated 15 January 2021

Lebanon approves law to import vaccines as coronavirus hits new record

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a legislative session, as Lebanon's parliament approved a law that paves the way for the government to ink deals for coronavirus vaccinations, at UNESCO Palace in Beirut, Lebanon January 15, 2021. (Reuters)

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament approved a draft law allowing imports of coronavirus vaccines as the tiny nation hit a new record in case numbers Friday and more hospitals reported they were at full capacity.
The new daily toll of 6,154 cases and 44 deaths came on the second day of a nationwide 11-day curfew that the government and doctors hope will reign in the dramatic surge of the virus.
Lebanon, a country of about 6 million people, has witnessed a sharp increase of cases in recent weeks, after some 80,000 expatriates flew in to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
During the holiday season, restrictions were eased to encourage spending by expatriates amid a suffocating economic and financial crisis, the worst in Lebanon’s modern history.
On Friday, the American University Medical Center, one of Lebanon’s largest and most prestigious hospitals, said in a statement that its health care workers were overwhelmed. The hospital’s ICUs and regular coronavirus units have reached full capacity and so did the emergency room, it said.
“We are unable to find beds for even the most critical patients,” the hospital said, urging people in Lebanon to help by taking extreme precautionary measures to “overcome the catastrophe we are facing.”
Mazen El-Sayed, an associated professor in the department of emergency medicine, described the situation as “tragic,” anticipating that the next two weeks would be even more dire.
In southern Lebanon, the Ragheb Harb Hospital also said that its COVID-19 units were now. “We are working beyond our capacity. The situation is very dangerous,” the hospital said in a statement.
The curfew, which began Thursday, is the strictest measure Lebanon has taken since the start of the pandemic. But many have expressed concern the measures have come too late — many hospitals have already reached maximum capacity for coronavirus patients, some have run out of beds, oxygen tanks and ventilators while others have halted elective surgeries.
Lebanon was able to contain the virus in its early stages but the numbers started climbing after measures were eased in early July and following the massive deadly blast at Beirut’s port in August.
Following bureaucratic delays, the country now is putting hopes on vaccines that are expected to start arriving next month.
Parliament’s approval opens the way for imports of vaccines from around the world, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan, who is hospitalized with the coronavirus, had said that once the draft law is approved, the first deliveries of vaccines should start arriving in February.
Lebanon has reserved 2.7 million doses of vaccines from multiple international companies and 2.1 million to be provided by Pfizer, Diab’s office says.
Lebanon has registered nearly 243,000 coronavirus cases and some 1,825 confirmed deaths.