Houthis Ignore Third COVID Wave, Death Toll Rises

By Sanaa – Asharq Al-Awsat
A Houthi gathering in Sanaa a few days ago, amid complete disregard for the new coronavirus wave (EPA)

Yemeni medics are warning that a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is spreading widely across Houthi-run areas, where the virus is killing hundreds amid a total indifference by the Iran-backed militia.

Other than ignoring the pandemic, Houthis are also banning coronavirus inoculations and dismantling quarantine centers.

More so, the Iran-backed group is accused of concealing the scale of the disaster in cities it controls. International warnings predict a worsening of conditions, especially that the Houthi-waged war has put nearly half of the country’s health facilities out of service.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat under the conditions of anonymity, medical sources confirmed that the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, and the governorate of Ibb had recorded the highest coronavirus death toll over the last few weeks.

The rate of infections in Sanaa and Ibb also was the highest among other Houthi-run areas.

Houthi neglect in Sanaa and their intentional withholding of vital information regarding infection rates coupled with the absence of awareness campaigns and preventive measures have helped spread the virus, medical sources affirmed.

According to sources, Houthis are also banning the entry of coronavirus vaccines to areas under their control.

This comes at a time dozens of international organizations sound the alarm on hundreds of infections being recorded in Sanaa.

Over the past two weeks, several hospitals and health centers in Sanaa have received hundreds of patients with coronavirus symptoms, medical sources revealed, adding that dozens of deaths took place.

Houthis have rejected all international efforts to provide vaccines in regions under their control and continue to prevent any precautionary measures to confront the virus.

Health workers blamed Houthis for the accelerated spread of the virus and accused the group of continuing to undermine local and international efforts working to mitigate the scale of the disaster and vaccinate Houthi-run cities.

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