Cholera cases rise to 139 after cyclone in Mozambique

Maputo [Mozambique]: In the wake of a devastating cyclone and flooding, cholera cases in Mozambique have shot up to 139, health officials said on Friday (local time).

Aid agencies rushed to the region to control the spread of disease among thousands of other survivors of the natural disaster”>disaster, Al Jazeera reported.

Many badly affected areas in Mozambique and the neighbouring countries are still inaccessible by road, complicating relief efforts and exacerbating the threat of infection.

Cyclone Idai, considered being the worst natural disaster to hit Southern Africa in recent history, made landfall in Mozambique on March 14 causing catastrophic flooding and killing more than 700 people across three countries in southeast Africa, including Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Around 417 people lost their lives in Mozambique, while over 1,500 people have been injured due to the cyclone until now, according to Mozambican Environment Minister Celso Correia.

Although there have been no confirmed cholera deaths in medical centres in Mozambique yet, at least two people died outside hospitals with symptoms including dehydration and diarrhea, Correia said.

“We expected this, we were prepared for this, we’ve doctors in place,” Correia added.

The minister said that 89,000 people are in shelters as efforts continue in locating the missing.

However, no disease outbreak has been reported so far but aid agencies have raised an alarm due to lack of safe drinking water and sanitation at shelters.

The Indian Navy was the first responder in the evolving humanitarian crises in the aftermath of the high-end, Category -2 storm that hit Mozambique on March 15. Assistance is also being sent to Zimbabwe and Malawi.