The number of people hit by cholera in Yemen since an outbreak began in April has reached 612,703, data from the World Health Organization and Yemen’s health ministry showed on Tuesday.
The growth of the epidemic has slowed in the past two months, but around 3,000 new daily cases have been reported in recent days and 2,048 people have died.
The disease, spread by ingestion of food or water tainted with human faeces, can kill within hours if untreated. It has been largely eradicated in developed countries equipped with sanitation systems and water treatment.
But Yemen’s devastating civil war, pitting a Saudi-led military coalition against the Iran-backed armed Houthi group, and economic collapse has made it extremely difficult to deal with catastrophes such as cholera and mass hunger.
Yemen, which lies on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, has been racked by war since September 2014, when Houthi Shiite rebels swept into the capital, Sanaa, and overthrew President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.