Twenty-nine-year-old Zoha Aidaroos al-Saadi recalls the moment she stood behind a hastily painted red quarantine line down the middle of her hospital. A patient on the other side of the line was all alone, struggling to breathe.
For weeks, the line had not been needed. It was only a quiet warning that the pandemic ravaging other nations would eventually reach Yemen. But now al-Amal hospital, in the southern city of Aden, had its first suspected coronavirus patient.
Zoha hovered at the line, terrified. The rest of the medical staff stood there too. When she asked them what was happening, they said they had given the man oxygen but wanted no further contact with him. The next thing she knew, her colleagues had left the hospital completely.
“There was no response. I kept calling and shouting out… There was nobody left.” Management say, however, that they did not leave the hospital.