Health CS Cleopa Mailu has ordered immediate closure of Jacaranda and San Valencia hotels following a cholera outbreak that has killed four in Nairobi.
At least 79 people with confirmed cases of cholera are being treated in various Nairobi hospitals and authorities are setting up 10 more treatment centres to cope with the outbreak, Mailu told a news conference.
Some 101 patients are admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital.
“We have so far closed two hotels…Jacaranda and San Valencia in Nairobi…and we shall continue to do so if there is evidence of risk to the public,” he said on Wednesday after visiting some of the patients.
“The government had ordered the immediate testing of about half a million people in the food handling business in the next 21 days.”
On Tuesday, the Health ministry canceled the medical certificates of all food handlers to contain the cholera outbreak that has hit Nairobi.
Medical services director Jackson Kioko on Monday directed all county health departments to conduct fresh medical examinations before issuing any other certificates.
Mailu said local authorities in Nairobi will repair all broken sewer lines, ensure all water vendors and their sources are certified and ban hawking of food.
“Some of them (measures) will not be pleasant,” he said.
Containing cholera in Nairobi is critical, given it is a major hub, not just in Kenya but in the region.
Mailu said Kenya Red Cross Society and UNICEF are also helping to contain cholera, a diarrhoeal disease transmitted by infected food and water.
It can kill within hours unless treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
Kenya has suffered several waves of cholera since 1971, according to World Health Organization.
An outbreak in March last year killed 216 people across the country and left at least 13,000 hospitalised.
Two Cabinet Secretaries, Henry Rotich and Adan Mohamed, sought treatment with cholera-like symptoms after eating food during a government event in the capital last week, local newspapers reported.
Rotich’s Treasury ministry said he did not wish to comment. Mohamed, who is industrialisation minister, was not available immediately.
The two got infected during a trade conference at the KICC. An outbreak had earlier been reported at Weston Hotel.