Concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases reported from the wholesale markets of Vashi Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) in Navi Mumbai, the state government on Friday decided to keep the market shut from May 11 to May 17.
Authorities said they were hopeful an alternate market chain set up at BKC in Mumbai will help Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) get its share of essential goods. All five markets in the APMC — grains, spices, fruit, vegetables as well as onion and potato — will remain shut for these seven days. Officials said 75 people connected with the market, including traders, wholesalers, mathadi workers and members of the APMC, have tested positive since the lockdown.
Following concerns raised over the spread of the virus, a meeting was held between Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Annasaheb Misal, Principal Secretary Anoop Kumar, members of various wholesale markets within the APMC and leaders of Mathadi Kamgar groups, who are involved in loading and unloading of the produce that reaches the markets in trucks.
“It was decided to shut the market for a week and undertake disinfection of all buildings, shops, offices, roads and other areas,” said Anil Chavan, APMC secretary. During this period, medical screening will also be conducted on security guards, mathadi workers, sanitation staff, committee members and police personnel deployed at the APMC. Those who show symptoms will be made to undertake a test, Chavan said. Officials directed the market, which provides basic essential supplies to many wholesale and retail markets across MMR, will remain open over the weekend so that supplies for at least the next 10 days can be ensured.
With inputs from ENS Mumbai
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