ADEN, Yemen

Occupancy in intensive care units in quarantine centers has reached maximum capacity in Yemen because of a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days, Yemen’s health minister said on Friday. 

Authorities are dealing with a shortage of intensive care equipment and oxygen tubes required to treat COVID-19 patients, Qasim Buhaibeh said on Twitter.

Buhaibeh urged Yemenis to comply with COVID-19 measures, wear masks and stay away from crowded places.

In a statement on Thursday, Buhaibeh encouraged his counterparts in Arab countries to support Yemen in its struggle against the virus and other epidemic diseases.

The overall virus tally in Yemen has reached 3,126 confirmed cases, including 723 fatalities, while the number of recoveries stands at 520, according to the National Committee for the Fight Against the Coronavirus.

There is no data on the number of cases and fatalities in areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthi militias.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or about 30 million people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation. 

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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