ALL fast food outlets in Madang were shut yesterday after the Madang provincial cholera technical task force and the town council issued closure notices.
The closures would continue for one week as a prevention measure against the spread of a cholera outbreak from neighbouring Morobe province.
The World Health Organisation and provincial health division had warned that the epidemic was likely to spread to Madang due to the frequent movement of people between the two provinces by road, ship and air.
Yesterday, all open air food sales markets were also empty.
The main fish market and the Kranket fried fish market in front of the Madang Resort Hotel stayed closed after the notices were issued on Monday.
All ice block and cold water sales on the streets were also banned and as of yesterday health authorities, the Madang Urban Authority and police moved around the town informing residents about the ban.
Early last week, Governor Arnold Amet said his government was committed to the regulations decided by the committee as the best proactive and precautionary measures taken to control the spread of the epidemic.
He said although there was no reported case in the province, the province was vigilant in case of a possible outbreak.
However, one fast food owner, Marylyn Harou, complained that the decision to close their operations was done in isolation because business houses were not asked for their views beforehand.
Ms Harou said the fast food outlets pay rent and shutting operations for one week would cost them dearly and their employees would not be paid their wages.
However, a journalist with NBC Radio Madang, Annisah Isamael, told The National that the decision was right and in the best interest of the majority of the people and businesses should appreciate it although they would suffer losses.