Yemen’s gravediggers overwhelmed amid spike in virus deaths

At a cemetery in Yemen’s largest southern city, dozens of fresh graves are a testament to a spike in deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The cemetery workers who bury the newly deceased do not know what killed them. But there is no denying that there’s been an increasing number of people getting sick in the port city of Aden — likely from the coronavirus.

Many are buried with few precautions and only a small number of attendees. Workers wear masks or cover their faces with a cloth.

Mohammed Ebeid, a gravedigger in Aden, says there’s been five times the normal traffic, with 51 burials in the last week at the cemetery where he works.

“This is something strange, we’ve never seen it before,” he told The Associated Press late last week.

The international aid group Doctors Without Borders has reported a spike in deaths and infections from coronavirus, including health workers at a facility it runs in the city. Residents of Aden had previously said several hospitals shut their doors, as health care workers feared contracting the virus while lacking protective equipment.

The spike has also exposed the extent of the virus’s spread in the war-torn country.


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