Zambian Government Halts Issuance of Passports as Cholera Cases Soars

The Ministry of Home Affairs has halted the issuance of national identification documents including passports, NRCs, citizenship and birth certificates. The measure is believed to be part of efforts to restrict public gatherings as death toll from the cholera outbreak rises.

Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said officers from the ministry will only attend to emergency travel.

Kampyongo however stressed that the suspension is temporal and is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health to prevent Cholera from spreading.

Authorities have revealed that 114 new cholera cases have been recorded in Lusaka on Tuesday with the cumulative death toll standing at 66.

The new cases added are largely in Lusaka city where 114 incidents were recorded with 3 deaths. 19 other cases were recorded in other areas, bringing the total number of infections to 2,802 with 65 deaths so far.

Over the weekend, a number of churches announced cancellation of all services especially in Lusaka. The Reformed Church in Zambia and the Bread of Life Church International were two of such churches.

The education sector was the first to be hit as the 2018 school calendar was postponed indefinitely in order to curtail the incidence of the disease spreading.

According to a joint statement issued last week by Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya and his education counterpart Dennis Wanchinga, the reopening of schools countrywide has been deferred until further notice.

“We have had an outbreak of cholera from October 6, 2017 and it has affected mainly Lusaka Province and we have recorded sporadic cases in various parts of the country,” Dr Chilufya said.

Dr. Chilufya also disclosed that the administering of the cholera vaccine in the affected areas will commence today, the 10th of January.

President Edgar Lungu had tasked the army to move in to help arrest the situation. He said the Zambia Defence Forces were to work with relevant ministries and agencies to combat the cholera outbreak. The spread has since been steadily rising.

Doctor Reads A Patients Chart 725X468

Doctor attending to cholera patients