Suspension of air and sea links between Mahajanga, Mayotte and the Comoros

Antananarivo, 4 February – In a proactive move to prevent the emergence of cholera in the Boeny region, the local authorities have decided to temporarily suspend air and sea links with Mayotte and the Comoros. This decision follows the confirmation of cholera cases in the Comoros and the announcement of cholera-related deaths, along with the presence of the disease in a number of East African countries, including Mozambique.

Drastic precautionary measures

In response to this situation, a 15-day suspension of flights from Mayotte has been announced. Maritime links with the Comoros and Mayotte have also been suspended. However, commercial vessels will be able to continue sailing under strict conditions. The crews and passengers of these ships will be subject to a 15-day isolation period before they can disembark, and will then have to undergo a medical examination at the border.

These measures were decided at an emergency meeting held by the local authorities on Saturday, underlining the seriousness of the situation and the importance of prevention. The Boeny regional public health authority has already urged the population to adopt preventive measures, such as washing their hands regularly with soap, eating well-cooked food and drinking hot water.

Epidemiological context

The alert was issued following a press conference on 2 February by the Comorian authorities, announcing the presence of a cholera epidemic in the Comoros, with cases imported from Tanzania, including two deaths. Cholera, a bacterial disease causing diarrhoea and dehydration, can be fatal without appropriate treatment. The last major epidemic to affect Madagascar was in 1999, with almost 1,500 deaths and tens of thousands of cases in two years, despite preventive measures.

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