BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The Ansarallah-affiliated Yemeni Information Minister has raised the possibility that the facemasks airdropped by the Saudi-led Coalition in Sana’a and other Yemeni cities could be infected with the coronavirus, urging media outlets and activists to spread awareness of the danger.
The Yemei Information Minister based in Sana’a, Dhaifullah al-Shami, said given the fact that the Saudi-led coalition has turned Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis through years of lethal military aggression, it is a big surprise to see coalition forces distributing masks across the capital and several other Yemeni provinces, the Middle East Monitor press observatory organization reported on Tuesday.
Shami urged media and activists to warn citizens against touching or wearing the masks.
The official added Yemen had not yet identified any cases of the infection in the war-torn country amid the pandemic, which has affected almost all world states and has claimed more than 42,000 lives worldwide.
Therefore, he concluded, the Saudi-led forces would be responsible for any emergence of the outbreak in Yemen. They have already displayed their intention to afflict Yemen with the virus by targeting a quarantine center in al-Salif District of the western province of Hudaydah Province, the minister added.
Yemen’s Ansarallah movement says the Saudi-led coalition will be to blame for a possible outbreak of the coronavirus in the war-torn country.
The head of the local council in Sana’a has also warned citizens against touching the masks.
Also on Sunday, Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency cited the country’s Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as confirming the coalition’s new tactic of airdropping “various supplies” across the country.
It warned that the aggressors were trying to use the outbreak “as a means of war on our people and the targeting of Yemen, which is by far one of the three countries in the world completely free of the coronavirus outbreak.”
“Carrying out such suspicious operations, reflect their criminal intentions,” the Council said.
Yemen’s al-Masirah news network, meanwhile, ran an article comparing the tactic to historical allegations that the British forces contributed to the genocide of Native Americans in 1763 by distributing infected blankets among them.
Last Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world” amid the pandemic. Guterres warned that health systems in war-torn states had collapsed and the small number of health professionals left on the ground were often targeted.
Sources: MEM, PressTV, Masirah TV, Saba