Nearly 2,000 people have died of cholera in Yemen in the last four months, the World Health Organisation said on Monday. It added that more than five lakh people have been affected by the water-borne disease, and there are over 5,000 new cases every day.

The epidemic has spread rapidly because of the ongoing war and the depleting hygiene and sanitation conditions across the country. The disease can kill within hours if not treated, the statement said. The organisation has recorded 5,03,484 cases and 1,975 deaths. As many as 96% of the governorates in the country have been affected by the outbreak.

“Yemen’s health workers are operating in impossible conditions,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Thousands of people are sick, but there are not enough hospitals, not enough medicines, not enough clean water.”

More than 30,000 critical health workers have not been paid their salaries for nearly a year, the organisation has said. He also sought a political solution to the conflict, and said, “The people of Yemen cannot bear it much longer – they need peace to rebuild their lives and their country”.

Between April 27 and June 20, WHO had registered more than 1,70,000 suspected cholera cases in 20 governorates across Yemen.