Yemen: Houthis report first coronavirus case in rebel-held region

Authorities in Houthi-held northern Yemen have confirmed the territory’s first case of the new coronavirus, a Somali national found dead in a Sanaa hotel, while the internationally recognised government in the south of the war-torn country has reported nine new infections.

Yemen, one of the last countries in the world to declare its first infection on April 10, has now reported 21 cases, including 3 deaths, in territory held by the Aden-based government, and one case, which was also a death, in areas under Houthi control.

“We received a report about a situation in a hotel [in the capital Sanaa] on Sunday and epidemiological investigation teams went there immediately, where the affected person had died,” Houthi health minister Taha al-Mutawakkil told Al Masirah TV.

The deceased Somali had underlying liver and kidney problems, the minister said, adding that a sample from the man had tested positive.

Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, has long been a transit point for migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa, many of whom are fleeing hunger and violence and trying to reach Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Gulf states.

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