MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL. An evacuation center in Caraga, Davao Oriental is converted into a makeshift hospital in this undated photo as the number of cholera outbreak-affected residents rose to 544 since Jan. 31, 2021. Of the number, 293 are still confined and the death count stands at six. (Photo courtesy of Davao Oriental PIO)

DAVAO CITY – The cholera outbreak in Caraga town in Davao Oriental that started last week has so far affected 544 individuals, the provincial government said Wednesday.

Data sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) showed the total reported cholera cases in the town that started January 31 has reached 544 while the death count remains at six.

Of the number, 293 are still confined at an evacuation center converted into a makeshift hospital and other infirmaries in the province.

Karen Lou Deloso, the provincial information officer, said the provincial government continues to coordinate with the local government unit of Caraga and various agencies in responding to the cholera outbreak.

Deloso said the Davao Oriental government -- through its provincial health office (PHO) and provincial disaster risk reduction and management teams -- has delivered additional supply of medicine and manpower to those affected by the outbreak.

She said water purifiers from a private firm were also provided to ensure that drinking water is clean and safe for residents to drink.

“Today, a group from the province is scheduled to conduct a house-to-house visit to the affected residents to demonstrate the proper mixing of medicines,” Deloso said.

She said a series of shock chlorination of the water source in Barangay Santiago, where the outbreak started, is scheduled to be conducted as a temporary solution to water problems in the area.

Deloso said the province is also eyeing the construction of a new water system in the village to ensure potable water for residents.

“This is as a long-term strategy of the province,” she said.

The Department of Health and the PHO have urged residents to continue observing proper sanitation and hygiene and boiling of water to prevent affliction. (PNA)