At least 10 people belonging to the Central African Republic has succumbed to a new cholera epidemic, according to the health minister Jean-Michel Mandaba.
His comments came the day after a health services source sounded the alarm that cholera had killed six people in the Limbo region, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the capital Bangui.
"The government of the Central African Republic would like to officially declare that there is a cholera epidemic in the (southern) health zones of Ombella-Mpoko and Lobaye, leaving at least 10 people dead," Mandaba said.
The minister called for calm and urged the local population to go about their usual business while "scrupulously respecting basic hygiene and cleansing measures."
Mandaba also urged the country's "bilateral and multilateral partners" to provide financial and technical aid.
Two months ago, health authorities warned of the danger of an outbreak due to the presence of cholera in nearby countries.
There have been fatal cases of cholera in northern Nigeria, Chad, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere.