WHO to provide 32,400 COVID-19 tests to Yemen

The World Health Organization (WHO) will provide Yemeni health facilities with an extra 32,400 COVID-19 test systems in near future.

Altaf Musani, the WHO representative in Yemen, said that this come as part of efforts to help the country in fighting the pandemic amid a dramatic lack of resources and funding,.

According to Musani, the Yemeni health system is operating on half-capacities, and medical workers in the country’s hospitals do not have enough protective masks, gloves and other protective equipment.

“So far, the WHO has provided 157 ventilators and distributed 8,400 testing kits and is securing additional 32,400 tests scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks,” Musani said.

Musani stressed that the UN lacked funding to cover all of Yemen’s needs that would be further emerging during the pandemic.

“On top of all this, the UN in Yemen is facing funding shortages. We know that what we have is not enough to cover the projected needs of the country. There is a global shortage on these life-saving supplies, while the prioritization of Yemen on this global list is in direct proportion to the actual needs signaled by the country itself,” Musani said, adding that the UN was determined to prioritize the most vulnerable communities.

Musani continued by saying that the WHO was helping to equip almost 40 hospitals for COVID-19 patients across Yemen and was assisting efforts to increase the number of Rapid Response Teams operating to quickly detect coronavirus infections.

“The WHO and partners are helping to equip and upgrade specialized isolation units in the 38 hospitals across the country that authorities have designated for COVID-19.

“Thirty-two hospitals have already received equipment and 18 specialized isolation units are now fully operational. The remaining units will be fully operational within the next weeks. The WHO is also providing support to ensure the work of 333 Rapid Response Teams, which they plan to increase to 999 teams in order to triple detection capacity,” the WHO representative said.

According to official statistics , the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has so far reached 256 with 53 deaths and 10 recoveries. The United Nations, however, has voiced its concern that the actual numbers may be much higher than reported due to low testing capacity.