Zimbabwean police ban public gatherings in Harare after cholera outbreak

Zimbabwean police on patrol in Harare - AFP-File - DESMOND KWANDE

Zimbabwean police have banned public gatherings in the capital Harare following a cholera outbreak that has killed 21 people and left more than 3,000 people hospitalised.

This comes after government on Tuesday declared the outbreak a state of emergency.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said Wednesday cholera had become a threat to human security and the ban would assist in curbing the spread of the disease.

Isolated cases of the diarrheal disease have been reported in some parts of the country as Harare remains the epicenter of the latest outbreak which began early this month.

“The Zimbabwean police wishes to inform members of the public that in light of the declaration of the state of emergency, the police in Harare will not allow any public gatherings,” Charamba said.

The outbreak in Harare’s high density suburbs of Glenview and Budiriro was sparked by burst sewer pipes which contaminated water from community boreholes and open wells used by residents who rely on such water due to shortage of potable water from the city council.

Health authorities have since banned the selling of meat and fish by vendors and have also suspended classes at a primary school in the affected area.

Zimbabwe’s last major cholera outbreak in 2008 killed more than 4,000 people.

Harare city council has been struggling to provide sufficient and clean water to the residents over the past decade due to insufficient capacity and shortage of foreign currency to purchase water treatment chemicals.

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