Cholera claims 24 lives as it spreads to the Free State 

By Karabo Rammutla

The Department of Health has announced that the number of deaths related to the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, north of Tshwane, has risen to 24.

In a statement on Thursday, the department said the number of patients that have been seen at the Jubilee District Hospital as of 24 May 2023 is now at 179.

Of the 179 patients, 18 were transferred to Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

The Free State has also recorded its first case of cholera related death, bringing the total number of recent cholera related deaths in the country to 21.

Three Police trainees have tested positive for Cholera in Hammanskraal. The academy has over 400 trainees, who have now been provided with water bottles.

Meanwhile, politicians continue to flock to the Jubilee Hospital in their numbers.

Acting Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, and Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko visited the hospital.

This urgent visit will enable the political principals to monitor the effectiveness of the current government’s interventions to curb the spread of the cholera disease and save lives, in order to consider further interventions.

“The delegation was accompanied by the experts from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), World Health Organization (WHO) and senior officials from both National and Provincial Health Departments,” said Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Department of Education said teaching and learning have not been affected by the cholera outbreak in the area.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said there were water shortages at some schools that were expected to share water from tankers with the surrounding communities, but they were rolling out plans to alleviate this.

“We are embarking on an urgent water delivery plan at 61 schools in Hammanskraal,” he said.

Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, is expected to meet the City of Tshwane Mayor, Cilliers Brink, on Friday, to develop a joint plan for the long overdue refurbishment of the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant.

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