Government has declared the cholera outbreak in Harare a state of emergency due to the rising number of people dying or falling sick from the bacterial infection, which is also fast spreading throughout the country.

As of mid-morning today, 20 people had died of cholera and over 2300 cases recorded in Harare alone since the first outbreak on September 1.

Isolated cases have also been reported in Masvingo, Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central province, all of them traced back to the epicentre in Harare.

Addressing journalists soon after visiting Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital, which is one of the treatment camp sites in Harare, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo said the declaration was meant to quickly contain the outbreak, adding that Harare was the source of all reported cases.

“We are declaring an emergency for Harare. This will enable us to contain cholera and typhoid in the city as quickly as possible. We do not want further deaths so if we do not create this disaster emergency situation, we will carry on losing lives,” he said.

Dr Moyo took a swipe at Harare City Council, which he said had failed to attend to sewer bursts in Glen View for the past two months resulting in contamination of boreholes, which unsuspecting residents used for consumption.

“Someone slept on duty and this is one of the problems we must tackle as Zimbabwe. This whole problem has arisen as a result of blocked sewers and these were reported but were never repaired for at least two months. Now we have ended up with the whole Glen View and Budiriro areas being affected,” said Dr Moyo.

More to follow…

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