Cholera death toll rises after demise of Free State woman

The national cholera death toll has risen to 32 after a woman from Parys in Free State succumbed to the water-borne disease.

On Thursday, the Free State department of health identified the deceased as a 42-year-old female who was admitted to the Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad.

“The patient is confirmed to have died, and thereafter laboratory tests confirmed that the death is attributable to cholera,” said the department in a statement.

Free State health MEC Mathabo Leeto sent her condolences to the family.

“The department would like to take this opportunity to urge the public to believe information about causes of death that are confirmed by laboratory tests and not opinions that are not scientifically supported by facts,” said Leeto.

On Thursday, the national Department of Health said Gauteng accounts for more deaths following the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal in the north of Pretoria more than a week ago.

The province has recorded 29 deaths, one in Mpumalanga and two in Free State. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Hammanskraal on Thursday where he addressed the community and apologised on behalf of government.

“We are so sorry. We have not lived up to your expectations as the people of Hammanskraal. We admit that we have failed you as a government,” said Ramaphosa. 

He assured the residents that they will receive clean water through tankers, noting that the Magalies Water Works will be constructed and start working within six months.


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