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Cholera cases in Yemen could hit 850,000 this year: Red Cross

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The cholera epidemic tearing through Yemen, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged country, could impact 850,000 people by the end of the year, the Red Cross warned Wednesday.

The outbreak “has reached colossal proportions,” said Robert Mardini, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Near and Middle East director.

The collapse of Yemen’s infrastructure after more than two years of war between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa has allowed the country’s cholera epidemic to swell to the largest in the world.

The speed at which cholera is spreading in Yemen has slowed some in recent months, but the deadly waterborne disease is far from contained.

“In July we said we feared it would reach 600,000 cases by the end of the year. Now we have reached 647,000 suspected cases already,” Mardini told AFP.

“We are now projecting in the worst-case scenario to reach 850,000 by the end of the year,” he said, stressing that “it is not under control. It is not contained.”

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