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Zimbabwe announces 100 suspected cholera deaths and imposes restrictions on gatherings

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Zimbabwe has recorded 100 suspected deaths from cholera and more than 5,000 possible cases since late September, prompting the government to impose restrictions to stop the spread of the disease, including limiting numbers at funerals and stopping some social gatherings in affected areas.

The health ministry announced the death toll late Wednesday and said 30 of the deaths had been confirmed as from cholera through laboratory tests. It said 905 confirmed cases had been recorded, as well as another 4,609 suspected cases.

Large gatherings at funerals, which are common in the southern African country as people flock to mourn the dead, have been stopped in some of the most affected areas in parts of the Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. No more than 50 people are allowed to attend funerals, while people should avoid shaking hands and are not allowed to serve food at the funerals, the government said.

The government has also said people should stop attending open markets, some social gatherings and outdoor church camps, where there is usually no sanitary infrastructure.

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