Yemen reported the first case of the novel coronavirus in a third province late on Friday, raising the number of diagnosed infections to seven with two deaths in one of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
The United Nations says it fears the virus could be spreading undetected in the country where a five-year war has shattered health systems and left millions acutely malnourished.
The emergency coronavirus committee said in a Twitter post that a 40-year-old man was diagnosed with the infection in the southwestern Taiz governorate, the region’s first case.
“The patient is receiving care at a quarantine center and measures have been taken by the monitoring teams and the health department for those who interacted with him,” it added.
A report issued by Yemen’s disease early warning system, seen by Reuters, identified the man as Ehab Mahyoub and said he came to Taiz by car with his family on April 27 from the southern port of Aden, where he worked at a jewelry store. It said he first experienced symptoms two days earlier.
Authorities received a call on April 30 from a local at Taiz fishing market reporting the suspected case and Mayhoub was taken to Joumhuriya hospital, the report said.
It said 10 people in close contact with him, mostly relatives, appeared in good health and were told to self-isolate at home.
Yemen recorded its first case of COVID-19 in southern Hadharamout province on April 10. On Wednesday, it announced five infections in Aden, with two deaths.