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Russia may close off Mariupol over cholera threat, mayoral advisor Andryushchenko says

The Russian miliary wants to cordon off occupied Mariupol because of a possible cholera outbreak, city mayor's adviser Pyotr Andryushchenko reports.

At the same time, the Russian authorities plan to send sick Russian soldiers to infectious disease wards in Russiahospitals. In particular, according to Andryushchenko, a Rostov-on-Don hospital is ready to admit patients:

“The word ‘cholera’ can indeed be heard not only at the WHOoffices, but also inside the city, from the occupation authorities and their handlers. That's why the city is being closed off, and it is very sad for us, because of all possible scenarios of combating the epidemic, we think Russia has chosen the most cynical one. Just make people stay in the city, leave everything as it is, whoever survives, survives,” the advisor to the mayor of Mariupol says.

He also notes the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the city. According to Andryushchenko, residents receive drinking water once every two days “at best”, and from July 1 onwards only pensioners and people with disabilities will be able to count on humanitarian aid. The situation with burials is also getting worse:

“It is difficult to convey the realities of Mariupol regarding the bodies of the dead. The city has turned into such a place that there are corpses everywhere, bodies of the dead are being stacked up because the occupants cannot cope with such insane numbers. They even lack manpower to bury them in mass graves.”

Earlier, Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko said that over 10,000 people may die because of diseases and unbearable conditions in the city by the end of the year: “The occupiers have turned Mariupol into a medieval ghetto, with mortality rate to match. Without medicine and medical care, restoration of water supply and proper waste disposal, epidemics will break out in the city.”

The WHO also warned of the threat of a cholera outbreak in the city. In mid-May, WHO's Incident Manager for Ukraine Dorit Nizan voiced those concerns at a press conference in Kiev:

“We have received information from NGOs working there that the streets have been swamped, and sewage is mixed with drinking water. There's a huge threat that a lot of infections may spread, including cholera.” The organization said it is preparing cholera kits and vaccines for residents of the Russian-occupied city.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by cholera vibrio bacteria. It is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and, as a consequence, the development of rapid dehydration which may end in lethal outcome. It is transmitted by the fecal-oral route through water or contaminated food and is classified as a particularly dangerous infection.

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