Cholera in Haiti appears to be contained: foreign minister

24th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The cholera epidemic in Haiti appears to have been contained, Haiti's Foreign Minister Marie Michele Rey said Sunday during a summit of French-language nations in Switzerland.

The minister said that the outbreak of the deadly disease "is limited to a well defined perimeter" in the northern region of Artibonite and part of the central plateau.

For the time being "those who are on the spot appear to be able to contain the situation," she said during a press conference in the Swiss town of Montreux.

"I am confident because the information that I have gives me reason to be confident," she said, while acknowledging that she was already at the summit when news of the cholera epidemic emerged.

Information from her government was that the cases were generally confined to Artibonite, the minister said.

The United Nations has confirmed five cases of cholera in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince after a sudden epidemic of cholera in northern and central Haiti emerged over the past week, killing 220 people.

All those cases in the quake-torn capital involved people who had travelled south from the affected areas.

The United Nations said that while the cases were worrying, it did not consider that they marked the spread of cholera across the country.

The 38 heads of state and government at the Francophonie summit in Switzerland have been examining post quake reconstruction for Haiti.

On Saturday Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to keep up aid for the Caribbean nation.

"Your friends from the Francophonie will never let you down," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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