In July, 570 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 181 deaths were reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Yemen to 1,732 with 494 deaths and 864 recoveries compared with the 1,162 cases reported by the end of June with 313 deaths and 490 recoveries. Although fewer cases and deaths were reported than in June, when 835 confirmed cases were reported and 232 deaths, health partners remain concerned that that underreporting continues for various reasons including a shortage of testing facilities, difficulties in accessing health care, fear of stigma, the perceived risks of seeking treatment, and a lack of official reporting, particularly in northern governorates. Preventative measures have been eased even though indicators demonstrate that the virus continues to spread and people are dying with COVID-like symptoms. While there have recently been fewer indications of severe and critical cases, health partners are concerned that people who are asymptomatic continue to transmit the virus and urge communities to observe precautionary measures. During July, the COVID-19 strategy was refreshed in line with the phase the pandemic has reached in Yemen and the response now focuses on testing, surveillance and case management. Current priorities centre on triage - to keep patients and healthcare workers safe, referral pathways and capacity building. Procuring and distributing oxygen and personal protective equipment remains a priority. COVID-19 continues to contribute to an economic downturn, threatening families' ability to meet their basic needs, and increasing humanitarian needs and vulnerability to the virus. Remittances, worth S3.8 billion in 2019, have dried up, there has been a hike in the cost of the minimum food basket, while the currency has depreciated. The fuel crisis and huge funding shortage for the COVID-19 and broader humanitarian operation threatens access to food, the functioning of hospitals and water supplies - all of which are fuel-dependent - risking an increase in the spread of COVID-19 and jeopardizing the ability of humanitarian partners to respond.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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