Kidero blames merchants, vendors for cholera spread

Kinyuru Munuhe and George Kebaso @PeopleDailyKe

At least 33 people were last evening still admitted at seven hospitals in Nairobi with cholera symptoms, even as Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero allayed fears of an epidemic.

Kidero said at least 500,000 registered food handlers and 100,000 food outlets in the city are being reviewed to establish the cause of the outbreak. The Governor also linked the highly contagious disease to unregulated water vending business.

“This issue occurred about two weeks ago. At least 30 people were treated. We know those supplying food and we have stopped them. We have also stopped those supplying unapproved water. Roughly 500,0000 food handlers and 100,000 food outlets are being reviewed.

We are providing medication but I urge Nairobians to observe hygiene,” the Governor said after attending a church service at the Methodist Church in Ruaraka. Thirteen people are admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital, six at the Nairobi Hospital and six at Mater Hospital.

Three are recuperating at at the Guru Nanak Hospital, three in Karen Hospital, one at Mariakani Hospital and another at Melchizedek Hospital. Last week, three top government officials and several staff of the Trade and Treasury ministries were treated for cholera symptoms after they ate at a trade expo at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

However, recovery progress of Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich, his Trade counterpart Adan Mohammed and Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo is yet to be revealed.

Speaking separately, Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke said the county government had banned private water vending until vendors are vetted. According the Nairobi Health department, Mathare, Huruma and Mukuru Kwa Reuben in Embakasi are high-risk areas due to poor hygiene believed to be fueling the spread of the disease in informal settlements.

In the past two months, 96 cholera cases have been confirmed in Nairobi with three fatalities reported. Kidero also said there was no cover up over delayed release of Weston Hotel cholera outbreak report after several people were infected while attending a health seminar.

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