The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanum Ghereyesus, thanked Saudi Arabia for its medical aid to Yemen to address the threat of COVID-19.
Ghereyesus took to Twitter in response to images of aid parcels that appeared on social media.
“Thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its great support to the World Health Organization at this critical time in the spread of the virus #COVID19. We all must be led by solidarity to keep the world safe & serve the vulnerable. With this kind of commitment and support, we can stop the #coronavirus from spreading,” Ghebreyesus tweeted.
Thank you #SaudiArabia for your great support to @WHO in this critical time of #COVID19. We all must be led by solidarity to keep the world safe & serve the vulnerable. With this kind of commitment and support, we can stop the #coronavirus from spreading.https://t.co/ofugsR7u4M
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 23, 2020
The supplies, delivered to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a, included laboratory tests and personal protection materials for health workers.
The shipment also included medicines and special supplies to support the ongoing crisis response process.
Special thanks to Saudi Arabia who airlifted critical @WHO #COVID19 supplies to #Yemen, including personal protective items for health workers & lab screening tests for Aden & Sana’a. The shipment also incl. trauma meds & supplies to support the ongoing response to the crisis. pic.twitter.com/g9zzorMAkv
— WHO EMRO (@WHOEMRO) March 23, 2020
Saudi Arabia has now confirmed 562 coronavirus cases, 19 of which have recovered, with no deaths reported.
Among the confirmed cases, 25 were linked to travel and have been isolated. The remainder involved social contact with previous cases, according to Dr. Muhammad Al-Abd Al-Ali, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Health.
While WHO received reports of several suspected cases in Yemen, the organization has not yet confirmed any cases of the novel coronavirus.
The Saudi-led coalition’s years of sanctions and attacks on Yemen, many targeting hospitals and clinics, have degraded the country’s health infrastructure past its breaking point.
Over 80% of Yemen’s population lacks food, fuel, drinking water, and access to health care services, which makes it particularly vulnerable to diseases that can generally be cured or eradicated elsewhere in the world, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Lacking even the ability to cure treatable diseases, Yemen is in a precarious position as it prepares to combat the impact of the global pandemic.
WHO’s representative to Yemen, Altaf Musani, said that the organization has increased distribution of medical gear and test kits, and has heightened the alert on Yemen’s situation to help the war-torn country’s fragile health system cope with the potential outbreak of COVID-19.