Ghasan Saleh starts digging graves at the break of dawn to prepare for the dead bodies that will come in droves. Two men in white hazmat suits appear atop an approaching pickup truck. They hastily drop a corpse into a hole and cover it with dirt.
The health workers come and go in near-silence. Fear of infection means there are no mourners for those suspected to have died from Covid-19.
Local medical authorities say that death rates in Aden, the seat of power of the UN-recognized government in Yemen, are soaring this year -- despite a relative lull in a war that ravaged the place in previous years.
In the first half of May, the city recorded 950 deaths -- nearly four times as many as the 251 deaths in the whole month of March, according to a Ministry of Health report.
Those 950 deaths represent nearly half the number of casualties the city suffered in all of 2015, when the country's civil war was raging.
Multiple crises at once: On top of Covid-19, there's also a mosquito-transmitted virus outbreak, known as Chikungunya virus, and more than 100,000 known cholera cases across the nation.
Many malnutrition centers and hospitals have closed due to funding shortfalls and doctors' concerns about their personal safety from coronavirus. Flash floods this spring destroyed the city's power grid.
"Yemen has faced wars and cannot handle three pandemics, economic collapse and a war and the coronavirus," Dr. Ishraq Al-Subei, the health official responsible for the response to the disease told CNN.
Read the full story here: