Video Section

Tue - 09 Jun 2020 - 11:58 PM ،،،

 In the darkness, the bodies of suspected victims of coronavirus are carried in silence, one after the other, to be buried in several cemeteries across northern Yemen. Flashlights flicker as mourners make their way through the shadows.

Grave diggers and guards at the cemeteries are warned not to speak about the causes of the deaths. If asked, they are told to say that the dead are “unidentified bodies from the war,” according to several residents and one gravedigger. Families are never really told if their relatives died from the coronavirus, which is believed to be the culprit. Test results are never released. These daily funeral rituals come as social media are flooded with condolences and photographs of the dead.

The situation is exacerbated in the Houthi-controlled north, where the rebels have suppressed information about the virus, severely punished those who speak out, enforced little mitigation measures, and promoted conspiracies and claims by the Houthi minister of health that their scientists are working on developing a cure for COVID-19 to present to the world.

Officially, the rebels say that only four cases of coronavirus have been detected in the regions they control, but have resisted making the number of positive cases and deaths public.

Richard Brennan, the WHO’s regional emergency director, told the AP that he believes the COVID-19 deaths are in the hundreds and cases are in the thousands, based on what he has heard from numerous health providers in Yemen.

The lack of information about the true number of people infected by the coronavirus in Houthi-controlled areas has led to wild speculation about the nature of the disease and the rebel’s response to dealing with the infections and deaths has only added to the confusion.

Secretly filming the burials on smartphones in defiance of the Houthi orders has become an act of heroism, local resident said in interviews, adding that the amateur videos give Yemenis the only true glimpse of the true impact of COVID-19 in the region.