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WHO warns Yemen of pending 'explosion' of COVID-19 cases

Yemen's rival governments are doing what they can to prepare for the arrival of the coronavirus, but the country's long civil war has taken its toll on resources and people.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen is trying to get ahead of the coronavirus crisis, but it faces a daunting task. Though it hadn't reported a single case of COVID-19 as of March 24, the country's medical infrastructure, debilitated from five years of civil war, and its fractured society leave it especially vulnerable to the pandemic.

Taha al-Mutawakel, health minister for the Houthis' National Salvation Government, held his first news conference on the virus March 21. He warned that 93% of the country’s medical equipment is out of service because of Yemen's civil war between the Iran-affiliated Houthis and the UN-recognized, Saudi-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

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