In December, 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported, 4 deaths and 11 recoveries, bringing the total number of reported cases to 2,103 with 611 deaths and 1,396 recoveries. 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.
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. Partners continued 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 unit (ICU) capacity. Partners have also been working to expand testing capacity through new technologies; to better characterize epidemiology; and to actively protect essential health services. Partners have begun to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19, including engaging with excluded and vulnerable groups to keep them safe and supporting essential health facilities to ensure they function throughout winter. In 2021, partners will promote COVID-19 vaccination, drawing on the global COVAX initiative, and improve the quality of care, especially at ICU level. The fuel and funding crisis risked exacerbating the COVID-19 and broader humanitarian response.