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How an infected person transmits virus in restaurants

Kagwe said eateries can only be reopened after employees have tested negative.

In Summary

• An experiment from Japan and showcased by CNN indicates how easily germs and viruses can spread in restaurants when just one person is infected.

• The substance, used to signify the bacteria, can be seen on food, serving utensils and platters, and even on the faces of some of the participants.

Customers at Mama Colo hotel, Kisumu, after partial reopening of restaurants under strict Covid-19 measures.
BACK TO BUSINESS: Customers at Mama Colo hotel, Kisumu, after partial reopening of restaurants under strict Covid-19 measures.
Image: DANIEL OGENDO

Last month, Kenya reopened its restaurants in a bid to get the economy back on track amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government gave out stricter measures that the owners of the restaurants were to follow for this to be effective.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said that owners of eateries will be required to get their staff tested for Covid-19.

 
 

They can only open their businesses once their employees have tested negative.

The restaurants are also expected to obtain new work permits to this effect.

Bars have however not been allowed to reopen, but eateries are allowed to serve alcohol within strict guidelines.

One of the directives was that beer can only be ordered when accompanied by a meal, and even then, it must be taken with the meal or up to 30 minutes after the meal.

But what just happens when an infected person, goes to a restaurant? What are the chances of him or her infected the people in the eatery?

An experiment from Japan and showcased by CNN indicates how easily germs and viruses can spread in restaurants when just one person is infected.

In the video, 10 people are seen coming into the restaurant, with one singled out as an infected person.

A fluorescent substance only visible under black light is applied onto that person's hands to represent bacteria from a cough or a sneeze.

 
 

Each participant within the restaurant then goes about the buffet as they normally would, not considering potential contamination.

When the participants are done eating, they are cast under black lights illuminating where the "infection" has spread.

The substance, used to signify the bacteria, can be seen on food, serving utensils and platters, and even on the faces of some of the participants.

A Hong Kong clinician John Nicholls, said the experiment demonstrates how quickly a virus can spread, especially when hand washing is not performed.

"What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently," Nicholls told CNN, "and I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease."

Barely weeks after the Kenyan government opened restaurants, CS Kagwe expressed frustration at crafty Kenyans who are ordering as little as a sausage accompanied with two beers to work around state directives for eateries.

"Watu wanakula sausage moja na beer mbili. Anaingia kwa restaurant ingine anakunywa sausage na beer mbili. Anaenda kwa ingine anaitisha machungwa na beer mbili eti ni dessert," he said.

This translates to, "Some are ordering just one sausage and two beers. They then hop into another restaurant and do the same. Others order oranges and two beers that are supposedly the dessert."


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