By Pretty Chavango
Government has urged people in Harare and other towns to be on high alert for cholera as people from various areas who attended a funeral in Chegutu might have been infected by the Cholera.
Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa told the media that there is a possibility that cholera might be spread through those people who attended a funeral in Chegutu adding that some of them were from Epworth and Mabvuku in Harare.
The minister said some of the mourners were currently under surveillance and being monitored in case they show signs of infection.
“Active surveillance including contact tracing of persons who attended the funerals of the cholera deaths being followed up in Harare and other areas,” he said.
Minister Parirenyatwa urged the whole country to be alert in case of new cases arising as a result of the people who attended the funeral.
“People who came to the funeral were a religious group from the Chawa Sect, some of them did not only come from Chegutu but from Mabvuku and Epworth, so it is worrying for us because if they go back to Mabvuku or Epworth, they become siblings for Cholera if they have contracted it themselves.
“That is why for now the whole country has to be on alert. Although the cases are coming down, we are still on alert and conscious of the fact that some may still be incubating the Vibrio bacteria,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa also called for monitoring at the country’s borders saying Zimbabwe and Zambia were twins and there is a lot of movements and traffic between the two countries.
Cholera outbreak is at its worst in neighbouring Zambia where according to media reports more than 70 people have died and over 3,000 have been infected since the outbreak began in October prompting its government to shut down churches, bars, markets and schools to contain the virus.
Actions taken so far in Zimbabwe according to the health ministry include activation of the Civil Protection Committee, Provincial Rapid Response Team led by the Provincial Medical Director is on the ground to render support, door to door Health education campaigns, supervised burials and setting up of a treatment camp closer to where the patients are coming from has been set up at Chinengundu clinic.
Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control at the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Portia Manangazira emphasised on the prevention measures being taken by government saying their response was in line with World Health Organisation guidelines.