Harare, Zimbabwe (Agencies): The Zimbabwean government has initiated measures to address a significant increase in cholera cases, including restrictions on public gatherings and food vending. The latest spike in new cases tripled from 437 to 1,259 in a week, marking the most substantial surge since the outbreak began in February. The surge in cholera cases has triggered concerns and panic, especially given Zimbabwe’s history, with over 4,000 deaths recorded during a cholera outbreak in 2008.

The country has recorded 155 deaths linked to cholera out of 8,787 cases, according to the health ministry. In response to the escalating situation, the government has imposed restrictions in areas affected by cholera, including monitoring burials and limiting public gatherings and food vending. A state of emergency was declared in the capital, Harare, last week, where a significant number of new infections have been reported.

Residents in Harare’s Kuwadzana suburb, which has seen seven of the capital’s 13 cholera-related deaths, have raised concerns about erratic water supplies, uncollected garbage, and sewage issues. Some residents have resorted to digging shallow wells for water needs, but the water from these boreholes has also become contaminated.

Health workers emphasize the importance of clean water in treating cholera cases and preventing further infections. Authorities are distributing water treatment tablets in affected areas, urging residents to maintain good hygiene practices. Cholera treatment tents have been set up in emergency facilities to address the rising number of cases.

The situation underscores the urgent need for comprehensive public health measures, improved water and sanitation infrastructure, and heightened awareness to prevent the further spread of cholera and protect the well-being of the population.

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