Aden (Reuters) – Yemen on Wednesday reported the first three cases of the novel coronavirus in the southern province of Lahaj, one of whom has died, and another infection in the southern port of Aden.

The emergency coronavirus committee of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government also said one COVID-19 patient diagnosed earlier in Taiz province had died. This takes the total count in areas under control of the internationally recognised government to 25 infections with five deaths.

The Houthi movement, which controls the capital Sanaa and most big urban centres, has so far reported one infection, a Somali national who was found dead in a hotel.

Yemen has been divided since the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in Sanaa in late 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene against the group.

The five-year war has shattered the health system and left Yemen’s population weakened by widespread hunger and disease.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Dahlia Nehme and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Alex Richardson)