Zanzibar — The government has lifted the ban it imposed last month on restaurants, cafes and food vendors after cholera out-break which has claimed 57 lives and affected more than three thousand people.
Speaking at the weekly media briefing on the 'state of cholera', the Director of Prevention - Ministry of Health, Dr Mohamed Dahoma, said that restaurants and the popular Forodhani Public Park in stone town (classified as area A), have been conditionally allowed to open business.
"We have been recording a decline in cholera cases down to 99 patients from 199 recorded in previous week and 245 a week before. Cholera has been ending gradually, but we still need to keep observing health precautions," said Dr Dahoma on behalf of the anti-cholera campaign team.
He thanked people and institutions for supporting the war against cholera and the multiple interventions including closing of all restaurants, cafes and banning food vendors, a move which has helped to control the epidemic.
"We have decided to lift the ban, starting with restaurants in Stone Town after physical verification of about 39 restaurants with 228 workers which have met the health conditions set including having toilets, enough space, safe and clean water," Dr Dahoma said.
However, he said, the restaurants should apply afresh for permission to operate by proving it meets the conditions, while other cafes and food vendors will have to wait for 'new conditions' after inspection.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided the Zanzibar Ministry of Health with water testing device, in efforts to make sure that the supplied water is safe for domestic use.
According to the WHO officers, the device would help detect whether the water distributed to public is safe for consumption so that water borne diseases like cholera can be averted.
The Minister of Health, Mr Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, thanked the WHO and other development partners who have been helping to control cholera in the Islands, which prompted ban of food vendors and even fresh food at weddings and funerals.