Fast food outlets back in business

National, Normal


FAST food outlets in Madang are back in business after being forced to close by the provincial cholera task force committee last week.
The closure notices were issued as a precautionary measure in light of the cholera epidemic in the neighbouring Morobe, Eastern Highlands and Gulf provinces.
Yesterday, the closure notices were lifted allowing all fast food outlets to reopen for normal business.
Last week, business houses had complained of suffering losses after the ban was imposed by the Madang provincial government in collaboration with the MULLG (Madang urban local level government) and the task force committee as a precautionary measure.
Some premises that have not been cleaned for many years have been cleaned both inside and outside, giving a new look to their buildings.
However, all other open-air sales of food and soft drinks are still banned as they pose a greater health risk and the ban on them could continue for another week.
Several attempts to contact the chairman of the provincial cholera taskforce were unsuccessful as he was attending a meeting with the provincial administration.
According to reports received, some people have started to sell cooked food on the streets despite the ban.
The closure affected working class people, employees and the businesses that suffered losses over the last four days.
Many working class people who go for lunch at fast food outlets and other seaside fish markets turned to eat biscuits and other packed foodstuff for lunch.
As soon as the fast food outlets reopened, many people were seen flooding into the shops for lunch.
The Madang General Hospital, when contacted yesterday, said that there were no cholera victims registered in Madang since the outbreak in the Morobe province early this month.
The officer in charge at the emergency and casualty ward told The National that the province had not received any cases but there was still a possibility that the epidemic could spread across the province if all hygiene and health standards were not followed.
Meanwhile, the task force committee is still carrying out awareness in the province so that people are well informed and do not panic.