Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000
By CHIKUMBI KATEBE
GOVERNMENT has declared a six to six curfew in Kanyama Compound to restrict movement and street vending in accordance with legal provisions under SI 79 which restricts public gatherings and open sale of food and drinks on the streets.
The curfew is also aimed at curtailing the high infection levels in the area.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said the curfew would be in effect for seven days which included operation of bars and night clubs to help enforce measures to stop the outbreak.
The minister said over 800 water samples collected in Kanyama have tested positive with fecal follicle and in some cases proved presence of vibrio cholera.
Dr Chilufya said this was as a result of poor compliance levels where residents have continued to consume contaminated food and water from the numerous shallow wells still in use in the area.
He said Kanyama had continued to record increasing numbers of new cases since the cholera outbreak owing to non-compliance to interventions which have been put in place under the Statutory Instrument No. 79 in line with the public health act.
“We do note strange activities happening in Kanyama areas which do not comply to the Statutory Instrument and in the Public Health Act. “And because of the rising cases in Kanyama and having recorded the highest fatality in this outbreak owing to poor compliance levels with continued street vending. “So beginning today at 1800 hours, we are restricting all activities in Kanyama area, including trade and movement to allow for armed forces and the health workers including participating community members to escalate interventions that will help us eradicate the disease,” he said.
He explained that although they have recorded a reduction in new infections from 164 to 90 in the last 48 hours, though commendable, it was not enough towards eradication of the cholera.
And Dr Chilufya said to effectively break the transmission cycle, the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) had increased provision of safe water points by erecting 100 water tanks to be service the area.
He has appealed to all the residents to avoid using water from the shallow wells and enhance use of chlorine as well decontamination of the pit latrines around the areas.
And Ministry of Health has sanctioned the reopening of three Hungry Lion stores as well as Kumushi restaurant in Showgrounds, Nadias downtown and Town centre, M n M Takeaway Katunjila Road, Dzadza Takeaway on Freedom way, following compliance to hygiene standards as required under the Public Health Act. Other places which remain closed included Pick N’ Pay Woodlands, Choppies Matero, Spur Mumbwa Road, Debonaires Levy Park, Shoprite Twin Palm, Uncle J Grocery and Steven Meat Supplies; Kankoyo Breweries in Kuku Compound, Butchery and others all in Misisi.
And more stores have been shut down which include Mahak Restaurant in Kabulonga, Asian Hut Levy Mall, Wimpie Levy Mall and Zambeef Butchery in Kabwata.
Dr Chilufya said the country was in the current situation because of the lapse of inspections of food, water sampling and to uphold high standards in food management and solid waste management.
He said contamination with fecal coliforms was as serious as contamination with vibrio cholera and was a crime against the Food and Drugs Act, which was a sign of failed sanitary conditions in any business house.
He said other stores affected by the closure included several locally owned butcheries like Mwansa butcheries and bakeries in Misisi compound and surrounding areas.