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Zimbabwe: New sanitary measures to fight cholera resurgence

A young boy pumps water from a borehole as a woman collects water into buckets, in a suburb of Harare where the cholera outbreak was first detected, September 19, 2018.   -  
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No shaking hands or sharing food these are some of the new imposed health measures on public gatherings in Zimbabwe, particularly in the capital Harare, to combat the resurgence of cholera cases.

In a notice widely shared on social networks, the Harare municipality advised against shaking hands, eating at public gatherings and buying food from informal vendors.

Nearly 340 kilometers from the capital, in the Zaka district, local authorities have banned public gatherings, which are now subject to authorization by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health has recorded 36 new suspected cases in the last 24 hours, according to a count published on Thursday night.

All regions of the country have been affected since the disease reappeared in the southern African nation earlier this year.

An acute diarrheal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria, cholera is on the rise again on the continent, according to the World Health Organization.

In Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Health has officially recorded 30 deaths since February and over 900 cases. However, around a hundred people are suspected of having succumbed to the disease and almost 4,650 of having been infected.

The country's urban areas, which have been in the throes of a deep economic crisis for the past twenty years, and where health infrastructures and drinking water supply systems are often in a state of disrepair, are regularly hit by cholera.

In 2008, cholera claimed at least 4,000 lives in Zimbabwe and infected 100,000 people. With the economy in its death throes, most public hospitals were suffering from drug shortages at the time.

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