Coronavirus: A Yemeni doctor tells the story of a hospital that patients abandoned due to a false message


  • Nawal Al-Mahqafi
  • A private correspondent for BBC News Arabic

While Yemen holds its breath in preparation for a second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, a Yemeni doctor narrates the story of her fighting the epidemic on her own after her colleagues fled from the hospital where she was working, and the exciting false news story that undermined the help she finally received.

Doctor Zahha Al-Saadi, 29, recalls the moment she was standing behind a red line hastily painted in a hospital where she was working to isolate patients. Standing on the other side of the line was a lonely patient with difficulty breathing.

This line was not necessary for several weeks, as it was only a warning that the epidemic that was afflicting many other countries would inevitably reach Yemen. However, Al-Amal Hospital in Aden has now witnessed its first cases of Covid-19.

Doctor Zahha looked with the medical staff to the line in horror, and when she asked her colleagues what was happening, they answered her that they had given the victim oxygen gas, but they did not want them to have any further contact with him. Soon after, her colleagues fled the hospital.


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