ALGIERS - Algerian authorities have announced the death of a second person in a recent cholera outbreak that has left dozens hospitalised.
The latest fatality, like the first one, was a resident of Boufarik, a town in Blida province some 30km south of the capital, Algiers, according to a health ministry statement carried by the official Algerie Press Service on Saturday.
Another Boufarik resident was reported dead on August 23.
Overall, 139 people have been hospitalised across the country since August 7, with at least 46 cases confirmed as cholera, the ministry said.
As of Friday, cases were reported in the provinces of Blida, Bouira, Tipaza, Medea and Ain Defla, as well as the capital.
Reda Daghboush, the director of Boufarik hospital, confirmed in a statement that cholera was the cause for the death of the second victim, an elderly woman who also suffered from "other chronic diseases".
On Thursday, the government confirmed the disease's outbreak but said the situation was "under control". It said the cases were "isolated and limited to a few families".
Some however accused the government of negligence, saying the outbreak could have been averted had authorities been quick in their response.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mohamed Bekkat Berkani, president of the National Council of the Order of Doctors lamented the state of health in the country, saying that he regretted that the Pasteur Institute - the body in charge of preventive healthcare and infectious diseases in Algeria - was neither capable of controlling the "epidemic" nor identifying its origin.
A number of Algerians have also expressed anger on social media after Zoubir Harrath, director of Pasteur Institute, told a news conference earlier this week that "cholera outbreaks have occurred in Chad, Niger, Yemen … not just in Algeria."(FA)