The town of Binga, Matabeleland North province, is the latest hot spot in the cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 2,100 lives and shows little sign of being mastered despite the influx of international medical relief since December, sources said Wednesday.
The latest statistical update on the epidemic by the World Health Organization indicated that Binga had the largest number of new cases at 200 on the Tuesday reporting date, followed by Harare, the capital, with 126, and Gokwe North, Midlands, with 94.
Total fatalities climbed to 2,106, according to the WHO report. The cumulative deat rate was stubbornly high at 5.2% compared with a 1% rate considered the norm internationally.
Harare Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the high number of new cases in the capital was attributable to a continued shortage of safe drinking water in the high-density suburb or township of Budiriro, which was an epicenter of the epidemic in late November and early December.
Chiroto also reported a new outbreak of cholera in in the suburb of Mount Hampden that was spreading to Dzivarasekwa and Kuwadzana, also Harare suburbs.
Meanwhile, animal protection groups and pet owners were voicing concern about the number of dogs, cats and other animals foraging in garbage heaps and walking in raw sewage.
Some have been infected with diseases and animal control officials are concerned this may spread cholera further, as Fazila Mahomed reported from Harare.