The announcement comes a week after the country’s coronavirus committee warned of a public health “emergency”. The AstraZeneca vaccines “will enable health workers and other priority populations vulnerable to COVID-19 to be protected against the virus,” UNICEF said in a statement on Wednesday.
The shipment was received in the southern city of Aden by local authorities and UN staff. Aden has functioned as the temporary capital for the past six years due to the conflict between the government and Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa.
This first batch is part of 1.9 million doses that Yemen will receive throughout 2021, UNICEF added.
Yemen received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines, the UN children's agency said, a week after the country's coronavirus committee warned of a public health "emergency"https://t.co/rpHIqgOXkF
Last week Yemen’s coronavirus committee urged the government to declare a public health “state of emergency” amid a surge in infections. It called for the implementation of a “partial curfew” and for the closure of public places, such as shopping malls and mosques, except at prayer hours.
Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) has issued a warning about rising numbers of critical COVID-19 patients, urging assistance from donor countries and specialised groups. MSF is “seeing a dramatic influx of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation in Aden, Yemen, and many other parts of the country,” the medical charity said.
Yemen has officially recorded more than 4,000 virus cases among its 30 million people, including 863 deaths – but experts say the real toll is likely higher. The country has been inmersed in a disastrous war for more than six years which has left it on the brink of famine. Its healthcare system is in ruins.
A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 to help stabilize the government, and since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, and displaced millions.
The United Nations calls the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
#FromTheSouth News Bit | After six years of devastating war in Yemen, there’s still no clear possibility of a ceasefire due to the lack of trust among the parties involved and the continued external intervention of Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/FagXn3GoFy