South African officials have declared the border with Zimbabwe a disaster area because of the surge of Zimbabweans fleeing a cholera epidemic in search of treatment, a provincial government spokesman said yesterday.
The outbreak has killed nearly 800 people in Zimbabwe and spread across the busy border. The collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and healthcare system has left cholera victims to fend for themselves and driven many to try to escape to South Africa.
“The whole of the Vhembe district has been declared a disaster,” said Mogale Nchabeleng, a spokesman for the Limpopo provincial government. The provincial government took the decision after an emergency meeting earlier this week.
“Extraordinary measures are needed to deal with the situation,” Nchabeleng said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said yesterday that doctors had tamed the epidemic.
In a nationally broadcast speech, Mugabe denounced calls by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President George W. Bush for him to resign, saying the epidemic was no longer a reason for him to leave office.
“I am happy to say our doctors have been assisted by others and WHO … so now that there is no cholera,” he said.
“Because of cholera, Mr Brown wants a military intervention,” he said. “Bush wants military intervention because of cholera.”
“There is no cause for war any more,” Mugabe said. “The cholera cause doesn’t exist any more.”
His announcement came just one day after the WHO said 775 people had died of cholera in Zimbabwe, with more than 16,000 cases reported.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did