Court, schools shut in Madang

National, Normal


SEVERAL public institutions in Madang province have closed indefinitely after the cholera and watery dysentery outbreak was declared in the province by the provincial authorities last Friday.
The provincial health authorities and partners declared the province as having a watery dysentery and cholera outbreak after eight people, including a child, were confirmed with cholera.
The Madang District Court was closed for two weeks starting yesterday, while primary schools and the Tusbab Secondary School in town were also forced to close as a precautionary measure as they were vulnerable to a possible outbreak.
The Modilon General Hospital’s outpatient ward has also been closed for minor cases as the ward is being used as a consultation and treatment centre for dysentery and cholera patients because the province does not have a treatment centre.
Although there have been plans to set up one, authorities are still waiting for funds to be released.
Officer in charge of the outpatient ward at the hospital, Dr Vincent Atua, said during the media briefing on Sunday that minor cases were being referred to health centres while they were still handling major cases.
A senior District Court official at the Madang District Court said the courthouse was closed to the public owing to fears of a possible outbreak.
The officer said that the senior provincial magistrate, after consultations with the magisterial services headquarters, advised staff members to stop work for the next two weeks.
According to a primary school teacher, schools in the town were closed for a week until next week as a precautionary measure and also to allow the Grade Eight students to complete their final examinations free from any disturbances.
The Grade Eight examinations started yesterday and ends on Thursday.
When the first diarrhoea cases were reported, only two students from one of the schools were admitted with diarrhoea but they were discharged after treatment.