MSF says urgent aid needed for Yemen amid surging COVID cases

A surging number of COVID-19 cases is increasing the pressure on war-torn Yemen’s already strained healthcare system, an international medical charity has warned.

Doctor Without Borders (MSF) reported a “dramatic influx of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation in Aden, Yemen, and many other parts of the country” and called on humanitarians groups and international aid donors to “immediately” scale up activities and funding.

“We are urging all medical humanitarian organisations already present in Yemen to rapidly scale up their COVID-19 emergency response,” said Raphael Veicht, head of mission of MSF in Yemen.

“All aspects of the COVID-19 response are lacking and need greater international support, from public health messaging, to vaccinations to oxygen therapy,” Veicht said in a statement on Thursday. “Support is needed across the board.”

Yemen has been torn by conflict since 2014, when the Houthi armed group took control over large swaths of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The war escalated significantly in March 2015 when a coalition of regional countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in an attempt to restore the internationally recognised government toppled by the Houthis.

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