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THE Red Cross has opened a new field hospital in southern Yemen specifically to treat coronavirus patients, as the disease continues to spread in the war-torn country.
In the south, an already wrecked health system seems to have completely shut down. Many medical facilities in Aden, southern Yemen’s main city, have closed due to staff fleeing or simply turn patients away.
In a press release on Monday, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the new 60-bed field hospital in Aden has emergency rooms, wards, an X-ray department and a laboratory.
“When Covid-19 hit Aden hard a few months ago, many hospitals shut their doors. People could not afford medicine and other infectious diseases resurfaced,” said Alexandre Equey, who heads the ICRC delegation in Yemen.
“Solidarity and resilience are key. A political agreement to end the suffering of millions is a must. Yemenis have been longing to get back on their feet to rebuild their lives again,” Mr Equey added.
At the same time, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said that more than three-quarters of displaced and conflict-affected people worldwide have lost their incomes since the start of the pandemic.
The devastating economic impact is tipping many into hunger, homelessness and an education crisis, according to a report by the council based on detailed surveys and needs assessments in 14 countries.
“The world’s most vulnerable communities are in a dangerous downward spiral,” said NRC secretary-general Jan Egeland.
“Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe."
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