22nd July 2024

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22nd July 2024

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Zimbabwe imposes restrictions amid surge in cholera cases

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Our Reporter

THE Zimbabwean government has imposed restrictions on gatherings like funerals and other social gatherings to curb the spread of cholera, which is so far suspected to have killed 100 people.

Since last month, more than 5 000 suspected cases have been reported and the authorities have moved to stop the spread by imposing restrictions on gatherings.

The ministry of health last Wednesday said of the 100 suspected deaths, 30 had been confirmed to have been cholera related.

It said 905 confirmed cases had been recorded, as well as another 4,609 suspected cases.

With Zimbabwean cities struggling to provide clean water, Cholera cases spread fast given that the bacteria is water-borne and spreads rapidly in areas with poor sanitation.

And the authorities have now capped the number of mourners at 50 for funerals in Mutare and Masvingo, some of the most affected areas.

Mourners should also avoid shaking hands while serving food has also been banned.

Open markets, some social gatherings and outdoor church camps, where there is usually no sanitary infrastructure, have also been banned.

This is not the first time for Zimbabwe to impose restrictions during repeated cholera outbreaks.

The epicentre of the current outbreak is reportedly Buhera, a rural district in the Manicaland Province, with 41 confirmed cases so far.

Apart from Zimbabwe, so far cases of cholera have been reported in Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique.

The World Health Organisation has warned that areas with no access to clean water were prone to cholera outbreaks. Climatic phenomena like tropical storms can also lead to bigger, deadlier outbreaks, as was the case with Malawi last year when over 1 000 people died.

In Zimbabwe, poor or nonexistent sanitation infrastructure and a scarcity of clean water has resulted in regular outbreaks.

People in some areas go for months without tap water, forcing them to rely on unsafe shallow wells, boreholes or rivers.

Raw sewage flowing from burst pipes and piles of uncollected trash increase the risk.

More than 4,000 people died in Zimbabwe’s worst cholera outbreak in 2008. – Wires

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Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
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