BEIRUT — Almost 26,700 people took the cholera vaccine during first day of a three-week vaccination campaign that started on Saturday, caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad was quoted by the National News Agency as saying on Sunday.
Abiad also said that the outbreak "shed light on the subject of essential services and the importance of investing in them, and this has motivated the authorities and international organizations and European countries" to help Lebanon.
Abiad added that the outbreak has created investments in water infrastructure, including in a two-year project in Zahle to which the UN's Children's Fund (UNICEF) is donating 35 million euros to activate 29 sewage networks.
"There is a crisis around the issue of the vaccine, as what happened with the coronavirus pandemic, and in Lebanon we were [one of] the fastest countries to request the vaccine in order to protect our people," Abiad added.
Lebanon on Saturday recorded 11 new cholera cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the disease to 532. No new deaths were recorded.
The present cholera outbreak is the country's first since 1993. The first case was confirmed on Oct. 5.
Cholera is usually caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with the vibrio cholerae bacteria present in feces. Infected people may suffer acute diarrhea, but the illness can also be asymptomatic.