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Sanna declares state of emergency over cholera outbreak

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Health Desk: May 15, 2017--A state of emergency has been declared in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after an outbreak of cholera killed scores of people.

The Red Cross says the number of suspected cases in the country has tripled in a week to more than 8,500.

Two-thirds of the population do not have access to safe drinking water in the country, the UN said.

There had been 115 deaths from cholera nationwide from 27 April - 13 May, Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross, told a news conference in Sanaa on Sunday.

Sanaa has been worst hit, followed by the surrounding province of Amanat al-Semah, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The WHO said last week that fewer than 45% of health facilities in Yemen were fully functioning.

About 300 hospitals or clinics have been damaged or destroyed in fighting between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi - who is backed by a Saudi-led multinational coalition - and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

According to the UN, since fighting escalated in March 2015, more than 8,010 people - mostly civilians - have been killed and about 44,500 others injured.