Zimbabwe on Tuesday declared a cholera outbreak in the capital Harare after 20 people died from the disease and more than 2,000 others infected after drinking contaminated water, new Health Minister Obadiah Moyo said.
Authorities in the capital have struggled to supply clean water to some suburbs for more than a decade, forcing residents to rely on water from open wells and community boreholes.
The southern African country suffered its worst cholera outbreak in 2018 at the height of an economic crisis, when more than 4,000 people died and another 40,000 were treated after being infected.
According to Moyo, the latest cholera outbreak occured after burst sewers in Budiriro and Glenview suburbs contaminated water in boreholes and open wells, which are used by residents.
“We are declaring an emergency for Harare. This will enable us to contain cholera, typhoid and whatever is going on. We don’t want any further deaths,” Moyo said after touring a hospital treating patients in the capital.
The health minister said the selling of meat and fish by vendors in the affected suburbs had been banned and the police had been asked to enforce the ban.