Leaked doc shows COVID-19 outbreak among Yemen’s Hadi loyalists
A leaked classified document from the Yemeni Defense Ministry of the Saudi-backed administration has revealed the outbreak of the novel coronavirus among militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
The document, issued by the Department of the Military Medical Service of the ministry and addressed to the Archives of Logistics Documents, showed that the Saudi mercenaries have contracted the deadly virus while fighting in the third and seventh military zones of Yemen, Arabic-language al-Alam television news network, citing local media outlets, reported.
The paper further exposed that COVID-19 diagnostic tests were administered to the militiamen after they showed symptoms similar to those of the respiratory disease.
The samples were sent to the eastern Yemeni province of Hadhramaut, and they were all positive subsequently.
The COVID-19 test results sent waves of terror and panic among the Saudi-backed and pro-Hadi loyalists, which Saudi-sponsored militia commanders fear could lead to major losses and humiliating defeats in battles against Houthi Ansarullah fighters.
Earlier, Yemeni military sources close to the former administration had pointed to the outbreak of the coronavrius among Saudi mercenaries, especially in the Midi district of the country’s northern province of Hajjah.
The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the Yemeni provinces controlled by Saudi-sponsored militiamen has increased to 249 as health authorities confirmed 16 new cases on Tuesday.
The Health Ministry of the Saudi-backed administration said in a statement that five more deaths from the virus were registered, bringing the total death toll to 49.
On May 22, the UN rang the alarm bell that Yemen's health system “has in effect collapsed” as a result of the Saudi-led military campaign and tight naval and air blockade imposed on the country.
“Aid agencies in Yemen are operating on the basis that community transmission is taking place across the country,” Jens Laerke, spokesman for the OCHA, told a briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva at the time.
“We hear from many of them that Yemen is really on the brink right now. The situation is extremely alarming; they are talking about that the health system has in effect collapsed,” he said.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring Hadi back to power and crush Ansarullah movement.
More than half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or closed during the war by the Saudi-led coalition, which is supported militarily by the UK, US and other Western nations.
At least 80 percent of the 28 million-strong population is also reliant on aid to survive in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.