HAITI: In a shocking resurgence of the disease, Haiti said on Sunday that at least seven people have passed away from it. The news comes as the country is crippled by a gang blockade that has led to a shortage of clean drinking water and gasoline.
A 2010 epidemic of the illness claimed 10,000 lives and was attributed to a UN peacekeeping mission. In 2020, the Pan American Health Organization reported that Haiti had been free of cholera for a full year.
At a news conference, Health Ministry General Director Laure Adrien stated, “According to the information we have, the number of deaths is about 7 to 8,” adding that officials were having trouble getting information from hospitals.
Before this, the Health Ministry reported one case in the Port-au-Prince region and suspect instances in Cite Soleil, a suburb outside the capital that saw deadly gang turf fighting in July.
Gangs have been obstructing the nation’s main petroleum port since last month in protest at the announcement of an increase in fuel prices last month. Due to a scarcity of gasoline to run generators, many hospitals have had to close their doors or drastically reduce their operations. Most citizens can no longer use basic transit.
As a result of running out of diesel fuel, which is essential to its supply chain, Caribbean Bottling Company, a major provider of bottled water, announced on Sunday that it would be unable to continue manufacturing and distributing water.
Since the disease is typically spread by water tainted with a sick person’s excrement, access to clean drinking water is essential to halting its spread.
As part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission established in 2004 following the toppling of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, troops from Nepal, where cholera is rampant, were in Haiti. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the force size was raised.