Country has continued to record high cases of cholera with 108 new cases recorded today bringing the accumulative number to 2,600.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya told journalists in Lusaka that the escalating cases of cholera is the reason government has banned all gatherings in cholera epicenters.
Dr. Chilufya stated that Statutory Instrument number 79 has been invoked to ban gatherings such as church services, funeral gatherings, gathering to drink at bars and taverns to ensure there in no further transmission through contact.
The Minister clarified that the ban has only been effected in the affected areas while, in places that are not affected the ministry is only emphasizing on preventive measures.
He stated that in all epicenters, bars and night clubs have been permitted to operate with reduced hours and only selling take away beers to avoid people gathering in one place.
He said the armed forces who are patrolling places have been guided to follow the provisions of the statutory instrument on places where the ban has been placed.
Dr. Chilufya said the curfew which has been imposed on Kanyama Compound in Lusaka is still in effect, as night movements were also contributing to the transmission of cholera.
He also stated that inspectors are on the ground re-inspecting businesses that were closed after being found with germs that cause cholera adding that so far, 6 eating places have been re-inspected and opened.
The Health Minister said churches in places not affected by the disease have been allowed to operate but cautioned that people from cholera epicenters should not go to congregate in such areas as they would be posing a danger to other congregants.
And Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale said bars and night clubs that will not follow the stipulated opening and closing hours will be closed down and risk losing their licenses.
He said government has come up with measures to reduce operating hours for drinking places and allow them to sell take away beers in order to keep the economy running as the owners have bills to pay.
Mr. Mwale said his Ministry and the Zambia National Farmers Union will soon announce to the public the new conducive places where, farm produce and vegetables will be sold following the closure of markets.
He stated that government is doing everything possible to ensure the lives of people are safe as they keep the economy running.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwale has announced the closure of Lusaka’s Chinika Market which has been operating illegally and stated that a case of cholera was reported from the same market.