Published: Sunday 15 September 1996

A massive security cover has been thrown around the capital, Ulan Bator, in a bid to check the spread of cholera that has killed six people and infected 39 so far. Authorities isolated two major northern cities, Erdenet and Darkhan, the capital of Selenge province, on August 10. "There is no guarantee of keeping cholera out of the capital. Many people have come here before the cholera-affected areas were isolated," said a health official.

Health officials believe that the cholera had probably spread by contaminated food and have cautioned the public against drinking unboiled water. They have established a field hospital with 200 beds in Kheotol county. The country's borders are being closely guarded by civil defence troops and the police. They are on alert to close all roads leading to Ulan Bator and are strictly monitoring water supply sources for the capital.

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