UN warns cholera cases in Haiti could skyrocket

(Photo: Envato Elements)
UNITED NATIONS — The UN warned Thursday of a possible explosion of cholera cases in crisis-wracked Haiti.اضافة اعلان

The international body called for creating a humanitarian corridor to ease a blockage of the country's main fuel import terminal to get services running again and make clean water available.

Haiti announced Sunday its first cases of cholera in three years, with seven people died of the disease.

Eleven cases have been confirmed, and there are another 111 suspected cases, but the real numbers could be much higher, said Ulrika Richardson, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Haiti.

Speaking from Haiti via video, she said that for now, the cases seem to be limited mainly to the capital Port-au-Prince.

"With the current conditions in Haiti, and if not all the good conditions are met, we are actually in for quite an exponential if not explosive increase of cholera cases," she said.

"One could even say that perhaps the conditions are there for a perfect storm, unfortunately."

A cholera epidemic in Haiti killed more than 10,000 people from 2010 to 2019.

Since the government announced fuel price hikes on September 11, already unstable and destitute Haiti was hit with riots, looting and demonstrations.

And since mid-September, the country's largest fuel import terminal, in Varreux, has been controlled by powerful armed gangs.

"That means that the whole country is running short of fuel," said Richardson. So some hospitals and other health facilities are closing down, and garbage piles up in the streets.

Water distribution has been interrupted, which is dangerous as clean water is essential for fighting a cholera epidemic, because the bacteria that causes it is water-born, Richardson explained.

The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations made an appeal Thursday for the creation of a humanitarian corridor to allow for the release of fuel at the Varreux terminal and meet people's urgent needs.

Richardson, the government must do everything it can to unblock the fuel terminal.

And the gangs holding the terminal must know, she said, that "this is killing people, literally killing people."

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