Government imposes restrictions to contain fresh cholera outbreak 

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By Darlington Gatsi

GOVERNMENT is tightening up measures to control the spread of cholera in the country’s major cities.

Harare and Manicaland provinces had reported  1 934 and 1 627 respectively as of September 30.

According to the Ministry of Health about 100 people have died due to cholera.

Speaking at the post-cabinet media briefing, Minister of Information Jenfan Muswere said the government had directed the enforcement of laws on burials.

“Cabinet advises that the following activities have since been conducted in response to the surge in cases: WASH activities against cholera in Harare, Gutu, Bikita and Chiredzi district as sensitised on cholera in the past week; risk communication and community engagement committees were set up in four rural provinces of Masvingo, Matebeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central. Additionally, twenty (20) risk communication and community engagement campaigns were conducted in Mashonaland East, and the distribution of cholera information, education and communication materials is ongoing.

“In light of the current cholera situation, Cabinet approved as follows: that traditional and religious leaders be engaged to facilitate public health measures to control cholera within their communities; and that there be enforcement of laws on burials and city/council by-laws to ensure the public health response to Cholera is effective,” said Muswere.

Having been first identified in Buhera, cholera has spread into the capital Harare and other parts of the country prompting the government to institute containment measures.

The cholera outbreak has been exacerbated by poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water and burst sewer pipes in residential areas.

On Monday the government appointed a technical team from several institutions to assist the City of Harare (CoH) in resolving water challenges.