Tamil Nadu declared the market as a hotspot after hundreds of coronavirus cases were linked to this market
Around 215 wholesale traders and over 2,500 retailers will be affected by this decision, says a leader of the traders
Chennai: One of Asia's largest wholesale vegetable markets -- Koyambedu wholesale market -- has been closed after the government declared it as a hotspot after hundreds of coronavirus cases were linked to this market. The decision has left the traders high and dry.
"It was a big shock for us when the authorities conveyed to us at 6 pm last evening that they were shutting the market. They did not consult us. They gave a very limited time to shift our shops to a place around 20 km away from here," said Ram Mohan, member of All Vegetable Associations Action Committee, while speaking to ANI here on Tuesday.
"Only 250 shops open now. The rest of the shops were closed a week back. Around 215 wholesale traders and over 2,500 retailers will be affected by this decision," he said.
The district administration on Monday had ordered that the Koyambedu market would be closed until further orders. Alternative arrangements have been made at Thirumazhisai, which will start functioning from May 7.
"We requested officials to give us time to exhaust our stocks. They gave us permission until 9 am today. Almost 80 per cent of the stocks are cleared as of today. The administration has further given us the time till May 10," added Mohan.
Mohan, however, denied the market is responsible for the spike in COVID-19 cases.
"We agree the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases is a big concern. I deny the government claims that the market is responsible for this. We were not the source of the spike in the cases. Propers measures were never taken the check the spread of the virus in the market. In the last 45 days, hardly for five days, disinfecting was fone," added Mohan.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), there are 3,550 COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu including 1,409 recovered and 31 deaths.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.