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10 Apr 2020 | 07:08 AM UTC

Yemen: Authorities confirm first COVID-19 case April 10 /update 3

Yemen confirms first case of COVID-19 on April 10; further international spread of the virus expected

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YEM

Event

On Friday, April 10, the supreme national emergency committee reported the country's first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19). The case was recorded in Hadhramaut province and the infected patient is reported to be in a stable condition and receiving treatment.

The Saudi-led coalition involved in Yemen's ongoing internal conflict announced a two-week unilateral ceasefire from Thursday, April 9, on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Authorities closed the al-Wadia border crossing, the country's only remaining border crossing with Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, April 8, due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

Local authorities in Hadhramaut province announced an indefinite curfew on Thursday, April 2, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The curfew is in place from 16:00 to 04:00 (local time) in all major cities in Hadhramaut.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.