The Harare city council has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to food vendors operating in the city centre to 'cease operation' due to a typhoid outbreak, reports said on Wednesday.
According to New Zimbabwe, the Harare city council said that it was aware of a public backlash from the vendors, adding that the move was only "temporarily" pending improved results on the ground.
"We are... issuing a 48-hour ultimatum to all food vendors operating within the Harare Metropolitan area to temporarily cease operations forthwith. The ban will be reviewed depending on improvements on the ground," the city council was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, according to the state owned Herald newspaper, Health Services director Dr Prosper Chonzi said that the health department had welcomed the decision, adding that he feared further typhoid outbreaks as the main drivers of the water borne disease were still not being dealt with.
"As the health director, I am still worried as the determinants of a typhoid outbreak are still out there. That makes it difficult for the disease to be contained.
"We cannot win this if the environmental factors which exacerbate typhoid such as uncollected garbage, sewage, unsafe water sources and uncontrolled vending of foodstuffs are left as they are," Chonzi said.
Health authorities claimed that there had been more than 2 300 suspected cases of typhoid nationally in the last year, and 12 deaths.
"The cases were mostly from Harare... We are still in emergency response mode and we are doing everything possible to get the situation under control," Portia Managazira, director for epidemiology and disease control in the health ministry was quoted as saying at the time.