Top city hotels defy Mailu’s cholera shutdown order
Nairobi’s Jacaranda and San Valencia hotels have vowed to stay open despite Health secretary Cleopa Mailu’s directive shutting them down as part of the effort to contain a cholera outbreak in the city.
Jacaranda Hotels Group sales manager Liz Tapawa on Wednesday said she had not received any orders shutting down the hotel and that all the hotel’s outlets, including those in Nakuru and Mombasa, were operating normally.
“The management of Jacaranda Hotel would like to assure our partners and clients that we are open and running normally in all our outlets,” said Ms Tapawa.
“We were equally shocked by the news that Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands has been closed yet there has been no direct communication from the ministry.”
San Valencia also said that all its branches were operational and that it had not received any orders to stop.
The acute diarrhoeal illness is caused by the bacteriium Vibrio cholerae. It infects a person’s intestines and its main symptoms include watery diarrhoea and vomiting. Death usually follows if no rapid and effective treatment is offered.
Poor hygiene and unsafe drinking water are often the main drivers of cholera outbreaks.
Dr Mailu issued the directive shutting down the two Nairobi hotels with immediate effect, saying they were responsible for the cholera-related cases reported at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) last week.
“The San Valencia and Jacaranda hotels have been shut down until further notice because most of the cholera-related cases were caused by food outsourced from them,” he said during a tour of Kenyatta National Hospital to assess the cholera-response effort.
TOP OFFICIALS INFECTED
Top government officials, including Treasury secretary, Henry Rotich and his Trade counterpart, Adan Mohamed, who were at the conference were taken ill with cholera-related symptoms.
But Ms Tapawa denied the minister’s claims insisting Jacaranda was not part of the caterers who supplied food at the KICC event.
She said there were no grounds to close the hotel since it has no contract to supply food during KICC events and that none of the hotel guests had reported any cholera-related symptoms.
“Only three of our hotel guards called-in sick on Monday and presented cholera-related symptoms upon visiting a hospital in Westlands and when they were asked where they worked, they said Jacaranda Nairobi Hotel,” said Ms Tapawa.
“We wish to clarify that the three were treated and are yet to report back to work. No staff of ours is isolated in any hospital for cholera.”