Yemen: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Monthly Report (August 2020) [EN/AR]

Situation Overview

In August, 230 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported, 73 deaths and 269 recoveries, bringing the total number of reported cases to 1,962 with 567 deaths and 1,133 recoveries. The numbers of reported cases show a decline from 570 cases reported in July and 835 new confirmed cases reported in June. Health partners remain concerned that under-reporting continues for various reasons and that the official epi-curve underestimates the extent of COVID-19 in Yemen. Precuationary measures have been eased though reports indicate that the virus is still spreading and many people continue to die of COVID-19-like symptoms.

Other factors that have had a negative impact on the COVID-19 response include a lack of adaptive behaviour by the population to reduce transmission, severe funding shortages for health workers and personal protective equipment (PPE) and long delays in importing COVID-19 response supplies. In order to pivot and improve the response, in August partners began working towards increasing surveillance; deploying dedicated COVID-19 staff within agencies; tracking the impact of the virus on routine priority health programmes; refining messaging to encourage behavioural change; and boosting intensive care unite capacity. Urgent priorities identified by health partners during th emonth, to be taken prior to any subsequent waves of the virus, include upgrading screening capabilities at points of entry and triage of COVID-19 cases at non-COVID-19 facilities; expanding testing capacity; safeguarding heavily used parts of the public health system by providing allowances and covering key operational costs; identifying innovative ways of encouraging health-seeking behaviours; and improving data capacities by working closely with the authorities. The ongoing fuel and funding crises risk exacerbating the COVID-19 situation and broader humanitarian response.

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