Now there are just under 2,000, 41 of which were fatal, according to health ministry figures.
Haitian authorities recorded in a few twenty-four hours a nearly doubling of suspected cholera cases, which are now just under 2,000, 41 of which were fatal, according to health ministry figures.
“Until a few days ago, the increase in cholera cases was gradual, but now we are seeing an alarmingly sharp increase,” Ulrika Richardson, its humanitarian coordinator, said in a post on the UN mission’s website in the Caribbean country.
Although deadly, the disease can be both “prevented” and “cured”, but what is crucial is the “speed” of the response, he added, highlighting the “quick and decisive” response of the authorities and non-governmental organizations, despite the chaos caused by the blockade of the main oil terminal by heavily armed gangs for a month now.
According to the Haitian Ministry of Health, as of October 23, the country had recorded 1,972 suspected cholera cases and 41 deaths; the previous official tally was 964 cases and 33 deaths as of October 19.
The vast majority of cases were located in the western part of the country, mainly in the capital Port-au-Prince (over 880) and in the Cite Soleil community, a suburb of the capital.
“UNICEF reports that more than half of the suspected cases are children under 14 years of age,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said yesterday during a briefing for accredited editors.
He added that fuel shortages are making the work of aid workers “much more difficult”.
As fuel shortages have disrupted the distribution of drinking water — critical to the fight against the epidemic — UNICEF has begun distributing drinking water to about a thousand people in Cite Soleil, “one of the epicenters” of the cholera outbreak, Mr. Dujarric.
Ulrika Richardson, who visited treatment centers in the worst-hit districts of Port-au-Prince, described “heartbreaking scenes”: “children so malnourished that it was very difficult to put serum in their arms or legs; adults who were clearly very sick”.
Cholera re-emerged in Haiti in early October, after three years of remission.
After the bacterium that causes blue-headedness was brought into the country in 2010, a cholera epidemic raged until 2019, killing more than 10,000 people.
To address the country’s paralysis and worsening health and humanitarian situation, Prime Minister Ariel Henri’s government has appealed for help from the international community. Following a proposal by Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council is considering the possibility of deploying an international armed force to restore order.
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