Houthi militias seldom miss opportunities to aggravate the suffering of Yemenis and that is most recently evident with the group’s cover-up of real data on coronavirus infections in areas under its control.
While Houthis continue to ignore international warnings of the grave consequences of their mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, the United Nations renewed its warnings of a worst-case scenario, in which thousands of Yemenis are killed by the virus.
"The worst-case scenario -- which is the one we're facing now -- means that the death toll from the virus could exceed the combined toll of war, disease and hunger over the last five years [in Yemen]," Lise Grande, the head of the UN's humanitarian operations in Yemen told CNN, in a phone call from Sanaa.
"General health services in 189 of the country's 369 hospitals start to close in three weeks. Water and sanitation services for 8.5 million people, including 3 million children, close in three weeks. Nutrition support for 2.5 million malnourished starving children will start to close in eight to 10 weeks," she warned.
Following Grande’s remarks, Yemeni activists denounced Houthis continued silence on the number of infections in areas of their control. They launched a social media campaign blasting Houthis and the coronavirus as two faces of the same coin.
Activists also denounced Houthis’ discriminatory treatment of virus victims in areas under Houthi control, where the group prioritizes helping Houthis belonging to their leader’s lineage. More so, Houthis have refused to allow the burial of COVID-19 victims in cemeteries designated to the group’s militants.
Activists revealed that hundreds of Yemenis have died in Sanaa because of the coronavirus. They added that among those killed by the virus were senior Houthi leaders.
In the last two weeks, more than 40 judges, 20 doctors, and a number of university professors were killed by the virus. One of Houthi-run Sanaa's biggest cemeteries refused to receive more victims.
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