Houthis’ ignorant handling of coronavirus led to real catastrophe: Yemen PM

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The Houthi militants’ ignorant handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to a real catastrophe in Sanaa, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik told Al Arabiya, adding that residents in the capital fear disclosing their infections.

“I can say that the disease has exploded in areas controlled by the Houthis. The problem is in the way they are dealing with it. There is intimidation, inhuman treatment when it comes to any patient,” Abdulmalik said.

“That’s why any patients in Sanaa, they don’t come forward about their illness. Several of those infected do not disclose their illness because they fear being taken away to undisclosed locations,” he added.

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The Iran-backed Houthi militants have so far only reported four cases as a result of coronavirus, including one fatality. An AFP tally, however, placed the figures at 423 cases of infections and 96 deaths as of Thursday.

Abdulmalik said the internationally recognized government of Yemen has fared better than the Houthi militia in Sanaa, adding that they have established “more disciplined mechanisms and treatments” of COVID-19 patients, pointing to their success in controlling the pandemic in provinces under their control like in Hadhramaut.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The Houthi militia has been mocked in recent weeks over their handling of the coronavirus crisis, with the Houthi health minister saying earlier this week that the militants have been researching for a vaccine to cure the COVID-19 coronavirus amid accusations the Iran-backed militant are underreporting cases of infections and deaths in the country.

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