DUBAI (Reuters) – The number of people who have died in Yemen after contracting the new coronavirus has reached 500, according to a Reuters tally, although aid organisations say the death toll is probably much higher.
About 80% of the population rely on humanitarian assistance in Yemen after years of war. The country is divided between the Saudi-backed government based in Aden in the south and the Houthi movement based in the capital Sanaa in the north
The Saudi-backed government has declared 1,740 coronavirus cases, including 499 deaths, the Reuters tally shows. The Houthis, who control most big urban centres, have not provided figures since May 16 when authorities said there were four cases, and one death.
The United Nations says the virus is circulating rapidly and undetected throughout the country and infections and deaths are probably much higher.
According to World Health Organization data, there have been 1,738 COVID-19 infections, with 500 deaths, but the count does not include figures from Houthi authorities.
A government health ministry spokesman has said it reports figures daily and that “nothing was hidden”. Houthi authorities have not responded to requests for comment on coronavirus numbers.
(Reporting by Lisa Barrington, Editing by Timothy Heritage)