Schools, food markets ordered to shut

National, Normal


ALL schools and all prepared foods in markets in Lae have been ordered closed as a precautionary measure against the spread of diseases.
The order for the school closures was issued by the provincial administrator and chairman of the provincial education board, Kemas Tomala.
And the order for the ban on sale of prepared food was issued by the provincial health division.
A senior government officer said last night that the closure was a precautionary measure.
Everywhere around the city yesterday, officials from the Lae city authority and the Health Department were going around ordering people to remove all cooked food from their tables and stalls.
Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said from Port Moresby last night that local authorities were empowered to close down schools, markets or any place that posed a risk to the well-being of others.
Market stalls at the Lae main market and all other ward markets from 10-Mile into the city, and at Bumayong, Malahang, Butibam, Milfordhaven, One-Mile, Omili and Kamkumung, and East and West Taraka were visited by health officers.
They removed the vendors of cooked food. Defiant sellers were shouted down by crowds.
The order to clean up the markets came as a report was received of the death of a student at the Amba Demonstration School lower primary school.
An elderly man is also believed to have died on Tuesday afternoon while yesterday sources said a young boy from 10-Mile in Lae also died.
These two latter cases are said to have occurred within the quarantined area in the Angau Memorial Hospital.
The three dead are said to have been showing signs and symptoms of cholera.
This brings the total number of deaths in Lae to six.
It was also stated that the quarantined site was still admitting more patients but no update on the exact data for cases and cumulative figures were received.