Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda says a team of experts from Israel has arrived in the country to help fight cholera.

And Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale says 41,587 tonnes of garbage has been cleared so far in Lusaka since the cleaning exercise began.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has announced that National Heroes stadium has been converted into a temporal cholera treatment centre for adults.

At a media briefing today, Chanda said the team was on a three-day fact finding mission to support Zambia in water purification.

“A team of five experts from Israel, from the Sheba Medical Centre have arrived in the country to support the presidential initiative to deal with the cholera problem and also to deal with the medium to long term intervention in high density areas. This team comprises water engineers, eptimologists, five of them, they arrived last evening, I gave them a brief and surrendered them to the Ministry of Health. They have since gone on the ground to conduct rapid tests and gather information about the epidemic,” said Chanda.

“This evening, I will be taking them to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water so that he links them up with the technical staff in the ministry. Their main intervention is the deployment of high technology to deal with water purification and treatment with the overall objective to deal with cholera in a comprehensive manner…it is meant to, if possible, completely eliminate the bacteria that causes cholera.”

And speaking at the same briefing, Mwale disclosed that 41,587 tonnes of garbage had been cleared in Lusaka district since the cleaning exercise started.

Mwale disclosed that 20 markets had been closed to pave way for the cleaning exercise.

“Let me also update the nation on the nimber of markets that have been closed up to pave way for the cleaning exercise by the armed forces as directed by His Execellency. So about 20 markets that have been closed up. We do not expect traders trading in these markets until the whole exercise is completed. We have new soweto market, City market, cha cha cha market, Kamwala, Matero, Lilanda, Katambalala the rail side, Buseko, Katambalala in George, Tigwilizane, Kabwata market, Kabwata site and service, we have one in Chalala, we have Lubama, Chilenje and Libala. And so far, we have cleared about 41,587 tonnes of garbage and they have to do that with 3, 724 truck loads and the exercise is ongoing. Definitely this exercise will take a bit of some time,” Mwale said.

He noted that traders at Kanyama had continued trading despite the ban but soldiers would be deployed to stop them from doing so.

“We discovered that people are still trading in Kanyama and we resolved this morning that we are going to send in our soldiers or men in uniform to go and make sure that the provisions of the SI are actually implemented. So Kanyama we are sending people to go and make sure that nobody is trading, that there are no illegal gatherings and that every provision of the SI is actually followed. We have a couple of meetings and in the next cabinet meeting, we are going to discuss ideas that will provide a long lasting solution from end to end, from our door step to where we dispose off our waste,” said Mwale.

Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya announced that Heros Stadium had been converted into a cholera centre.

“Today we have made a decision to convert National Heroes stadium into a hospital that will specifically treat cholera cases, the adult cases. We will continue managing pediatric cases from Matero first level hopsital. The measure is aimed at centralizing treatment and enhancing efficiencies. This will make it easy for us to deploy resources in one area where all interventions will then be easily be harmonized for maimum delivery. This is very important to ensure that we reduce the number of cases so that we minimize possibilities of cross contamination in various treatment centers. We will continue utilizing our first level hospitals in various districts as stabilizing zones before we deposit the cholera cases to national heroes stadium that is now converted to a cholera treatment,” said Dr Chilufya.

And the Zambia Revenue Authority has contributed five vehicles with fuel worth K5,000 each to support the cholera eradication exercise.

The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), RDA and NFRA also donated assorted cleaning items worth K100,000 towards combating the spread of cholera.