HARARE hotels, restaurants and open air food spots face immediate closure for failing to meet health and hygienic standards amid fears that a cholera outbreak looms.
The move is part of a cocktail of measures designed to contain the spread of typhoid and follow recent reports indicating that a hotel worker had tested positive for typhoid.
Health services director Dr Prosper Chonzi raised fears of a cholera outbreak given the health conditions that gave birth to typhoid.
"We can have cholera anytime. The environment is conducive for the outbreak. We need to be proactive and play our part," he said.
Dr Chonzi said typhoid could have spread to Chitungwiza and Epworth. "I can bet my last dollar there is typhoid in Chitungwiza and Epworth. The hygienic levels there are not good," he said.
Dr Chonzi said residents across the city should also be wary because no one was safe from the disease.
The movement of people from one suburb to the other fuels the spread of the disease.
Harare Town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi said some businesses faced closure because it has been observed their foodstuffs were contaminated with Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid.
"We may close some of them until they are inspected and we are assured of their cleanliness," he said.
As of yesterday afternoon, 882 typhoid cases had been attended to in Kuwadzana, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Another 64 people were admitted at the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospitals while on Thursday alone, 53 people were treated of typhoid symptoms at Kuwadzana Polyclinic. Dr Chonzi concurred with Dr Mahachi that some businesses should be closed.
"Food businesses and those that handle raw foodstuffs like fruits, unprocessed foods and butcheries face closure. We will have to certify food handlers. They should be screened for TB and general cleanliness," he said.
Dr Chonzi said some hotels have a tendency of employing temporary staff each time they have brisk business, but never take measures to certify the health of the workers. Most such workers are usually seen outside major hotels waiting to be hired for relief duties.
Dr Chonzi said new samples from a Government analyst confirmed that all food samples of chicken, fish, raw and cooked meat taken from Kuwadzana tested positive for typhoid.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto thanked a group of businesspeople led by Mr Alex Mashamhanda of Mashwede Investments for assisting the city with plant and equipment to collect garbage.
The businesspeople, most of who are suppliers of goods and services to council, have been mobilised to assist contain typhoid.
Companies that are assisting council include Holiday Inn Harare, Machena Resources, Redan, PetroTrade, Innscor, Lafarge and John and Sisk.
"Alone we cannot achieve results," said Clr Chiroto.
Kuwadzana residents swamped Kuwadzana Four Shopping Centre when they realised city officials were touring the suburb.
They complained that garbage was not being collected and there was no tap water for vendors who have literally invaded the shopping centre.
The only available public toilet is not working.