Death toll among Marawi evacuees: 34; cholera monitored but no outbreak

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 10 July)  — Away from the war zone in Marawi City and supposedly safe from bullets and bombs, residents who sought refuge in evacuation centers or with their relatives outside Marawi are facing yet another danger where they are now: death from disease.

At least 34 Marawi evacuees have died in hospitals as of Saturday, the regional Health Secretary told MindaNews in an online interview on Sunday. He said the three recent cases involve children who died from pneumonia and sepsis. “Only nine deaths are due to diarrhea” following the mass evacuation due to the clashes between government forces and the Maute Group in Marawi City since May 23.

A boy scratches his head in one of the evacuation centers in iligan City in this photo taken Saturday, 08 July 2017. The evacuees are facing another kind of danger in congested evacuation centers: death from disease. The Department of Health and other volunteers have been attending to the health needs of evacuees. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

On the reported cases of cholera, Sinolinding said there is no outbreak but he  confirmed nine cases have been monitored in the evacuation sites — one in Saguiaran, two in Pantar, both in Lanao del Sur; two in Balo-i, two in Maria Cristina, 2 in Buru-un, Iligan City all in Lanao del Norte . “All are treated,” noted Sinolinding

He explained it cannot be declared an outbreak. “Since it is distributed and no abnormal spike in cases, it cannot be an oubreak,” Sinolinding added.

He said he wants to confirm if the nine cases came from the same barangay in Marawi before the mass evacuation.

The Department of Health and other volunteers have been attending to the health needs of the evacuees in their respective areas. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)