40 Marawi evacuees die since rebels occupy city: Philippine health chief

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-17 15:40:00|Editor: Song Lifang
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MANILA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines said on Monday that 40 people who fled the besieged Marawi City in the southern Philippines have died since the conflict broke out in May between military and rebels.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial told a news conference at the Malacanang presidential palace that the evacuees died from causes ranging from acute gastrointestinal infections to heart-related diseases.

Ubial said that "all the deaths are home-based evacuees," referring to evacuees who chose to stay with their relatives outside of Marawi.

"They did not come from established evacuation centers but they were internally-displaced persons coming from home-based evacuees. And they died, all of them except for two died in health facilities," she said.

She also said 16,411 evacuees were admitted or treated in both government and private health facilities.

"When translated to number of individuals, the overall affected population is about 465,000 persons, close to half a million people," Ubial said.

She also said that temporary shelters were set up in 87 evacuation centers to accommodate 26,991 internally displaced persons.

As of July 16, the conflict in Marawi had killed 545 people, including 405 extremists, 95 security forces and 45 civilians. The death toll excludes the 40 civilian evacuees that have so far died.

The crisis erupted on May 23 when local militants allied with Islamic State occupied the city in a bid to establish a caliphate.