Alwaght– Cholera disease has infected more than 300,000 people in war-torn Yemen since late April, amid concerns the outbreak is party of Saudi biological warfare on the impoverished state.
“Yemen, Cholera: Disturbing. We’re at 300k+ suspected cases with ~7k new cases/day. 4 most affected areas: Sanaa, Hodeida, Hajjah and Amran,” the international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regional director Robert Mardini tweeted on Monday.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) on its official twitter put the epidemic suspected cases at 297,438 people and the death toll from the disease at 1,706 until July 9.
The disease cases were reported from 22 provinces out of 23 since April 27, said WHO.
Since April 27, the cholera cases in Yemen have been “increasing at an average of 5,000 a day,” WHO said in its last week report. “We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world.”
Yemen facing total collapse
More than three years into a brutal Saudi-led aggression, Yemen is facing a total collapse, where two thirds of the total population, around 19 million, need humanitarian aid. About 10.3 million people are at risk of famine and 14.5 million lack access to safe drinking water.
Fewer than 45 percent of the country’s hospitals are operational, but even the operational ones are coping with huge challenges, especially the lack of medications, medical equipment and staff.
The blockade on Yemen, as part of a Saudi-led bombing campaign launched in March 2015, has deepened the crisis in the country which used to import most of its basic needs.
The brutal aggression has so far claimed the lives of over 13,000 Yemenis mostly civilians including women and children.
The Saudi military aggression has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, markets schools, mosques and factories.
Saudis using cholera as biological weapon against Yemenis
Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has singled out Saudi Arabia as the source of the catastrophic cholera outbreak in Yemen.
The Russia Today Arabic news channel on Saturday quoted Saleh added that the Saudi-led coalition was behind the spread of the highly contagious disease through the use of internationally banned weapons.
“The coalition is using devastating weapons such as cluster and thermobaric bombs which leave very harmful effects for the people of Yemen,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yemenis on social media and on the ground have reported that Saudi warplanes are spraying chemicals substances across the country.
While many reasons have been given following the spread of cholera across Yemen especially the destruction of health services and water facilities, but many Yemenis believe that cholera in the country is part of a biological warfare waged by the Saudi-led regime against the country.
Yemeni pundits say the Saudis have failed to achieve their stated objectives in Yemen through daily bombardments and are now pushing the country to surrender using biological weapons.
Precedent of Saudis using banned weapons
It would not be surprising for the Saudi regime to use biological weapons against Yemenis as the regime in Riyadh has been using banned weapons in the impoverished state since the onset of the war.
On March 9, the Amnesty International rights group said in a statement that Saudi Arabia had used cluster bombs on three residential districts and agricultural land in Sa’ada back in mid-February.
Last December, Human Rights Watch also said Saudi Arabia had fired cluster bombs near two schools in Sa’ada, killing two civilians and wounding six others, including a child.
Cluster bombs are banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm caused to civilians by cluster munitions through a categorical prohibition and a framework for action. The weapons can contain dozens of smaller bomblets, dispersing over vast areas, often killing and maiming civilians long after they are dropped