Yemen provinces relax virus curbs as death rate falls

In this, June 14, 2020 file photo, medical workers attend to a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Yemen provinces relax virus curbs as death rate falls

  • Local authorities had bowed to the public pressure to lift the curfew

AL-MUKALLA: Local authorities in several Yemeni provinces have begun easing coronavirus restrictions following a fall in the number of infections and deaths.

In the eastern province of Mahra, a government emergency committee on Wednesday lifted a night-time curfew in the capital after health facilities reported fewer infections and deaths.

Spokesperson Mohammed Saeed Kelaishat told Arab News that the province has had five deaths since the start of the outbreak in Yemen in April, while the number of patients with coronavirus symptoms admitted to local hospitals has fallen.

“The quarantine is empty and all cases have recovered. The other patients have isolated themselves at home,” Kelaishat said.

Local authorities had bowed to the public pressure to lift the curfew, which affected businesses in the province, he said.

“Traders have complained that the curfew has had an impact on their businesses,” he added.

The province has reported 22 confirmed cases, including 14 recoveries and five deaths.

Kelaishat said that the province’s quarantine facility has not received any patients with acute respiratory problems since early last month, an indication that the pandemic is easing.

“The curfew will be reimposed if coronavirus cases rise again,” he said.

In neighboring Hadramout province, local authorities have reduced curfew hours and allowed mosques to reopen for prayers, while advising people to follow social distancing rules, and wear masks and gloves.

The curfew was adjusted from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Restrictions were imposed in the province on April 10 after the first case of coronavirus in Yemen was detected in the port city of Sheher.

According to the Aden-based national coronavirus committee, the large province of Hadramout has recorded 133 deaths, the largest number of fatalities in Yemen, followed by Taiz with 61. The total number of deaths in government-controlled areas is 312.

In Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, local officials said that the number of daily deaths has returned to normal levels.

“There is a gradual and sharp decrease in deaths from different kinds of fever by 50 percent. There is also 50 percent drop in the occupancy of quarantines,” Abdulla bin Ghouth, a professor of community medicine and epidemiology at Hadramout University’s College of Medicine, and an adviser to the health minister, told Arab News on Wednesday.

Local media outlets quoted Gen. Sanad Jamel, director of Civil Affairs Authority, as saying that daily deaths from disease in Aden have fallen from 70 early last month to 17. 

In May, the internationally recognized government declared Aden an “infested” city as coronavirus and other diseases claimed that lives of hundreds.


Dubai airport hands out roses to Beirut passengers in a show of support

Updated 10 min 24 sec ago

Dubai airport hands out roses to Beirut passengers in a show of support

  • Passengers arriving from Beirut in Dubai were handed white roses
  • “Rebuilding Lebanon is like rebuilding UAE,” a message attached to the roses read

DUBAI: Passengers arriving from Beirut in Dubai were handed white roses on Sunday in a heartfelt gesture of support following last week’s deadly blast. 
The 163 passengers boarding an Emirates airline flight who arrived at Dubai International Airport were gifted the roses from Dubai Customs workers. The flowers came with a message that quoted the founder of the UAE, the late President Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The message reads: “Rebuilding Lebanon is like rebuilding UAE.”
Dubai Airport CEO Paul Griffiths said the act reflects the “spirit of kindness at the heart of the aviation community.”  
“I’m sure it has provided some measure of comfort for the Lebanese passengers during these very difficult times,” he said.
Like many other countries, the UAE has sent large shipments of aid to Lebanon since the explosion. 
The massive blasts at the Beirut port killed 158 people and injured 6,000.