AL-MUKALLA: Deaths from the coronavirus and other diseases in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden have dropped by 43 percent in the first 16 days of this month, local government officials and medics said on Friday.
The UN said that the fatality rate was still “alarmingly” high.
Official figures showed that dengue fever, chikungunya, ebola, malaria, pneumonic plague and other illnesses killed 1,823 people in May.
Abdulla bin Ghouth, a professor of epidemiology at Hadramout University’s College of Medicine, said that the total number of deaths over the first 16 days of June was 484 compared to 861 during the same period in May, based on burial permits from the government’s civil authority office in Aden.
“The logical explanation is that this is the beginning of the ebb of the epidemic in Aden,” Bin Ghouth told Arab News. “We do not want to generalize this conclusion as we need to follow the epidemiological curve of cases for another three weeks in addition to bed occupancy of isolation centers in Aden.”
The internationally recognized government of Yemen in May declared Aden an “infested” city due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, as heavy rains and flash floods battered the city’s infrastructures.
Local health workers say that they have detected a decrease in the number of patients and deaths in Aden since the beginning of this month. Mukhtar Saeed Nasser, a physician at Al-Jumhuriya Hospital in Aden, told Arab News that daily deaths at the hospital were now at three compared to 15 to 20 in late April and early May.
“There is a great decrease in the number of deaths compared to the early days of Ramadan. Most of today’s deaths are older people,” Nasser said. He attributed the drop to better health services, more medical staff, effective awareness campaigns and medical and logistical support from international organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
On Thursday, the national coronavirus committee reported seven new cases and four deaths in Hadramout, Lahj and Taiz, bringing the total number of cases to 909, including 248 deaths and 273.
An air-borne shipment of 43 tons of laboratory supplies, ventilators, test kits, PCR machines and PPE arrived in Yemen on Friday to help the country’s fragile health system stem the spread of coronavirus, the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen (IICY) said in a statement seen by Arab News.
Auke Lootsma, acting Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, was quoted as saying: “This donation comes at a critical time. It will have a massive and immediate impact on the ground helping to fill the gaps in Yemen’s hospitals and laboratories countrywide.”
The shipment is a donation to the World Health Organization (WHO) facilitated by the Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation on behalf of the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen (IICY), a collaborative partnership of multinational companies and the UN.
Labs across Yemen have recently complained about a severe shortage of coronavirus testing kits, which has hampered the government’s efforts to fight the spread of the disease.