Despite two persons from the wholesale market who died due to coronavirus, the Mumbai Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) located in Vashi is likely to reopen from Monday. The market was closed on May 11 for seven days after a sudden rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the city with a majority of cases found from the wholesale market.
Fear has been gripped among traders after the death of two persons. A 62-year-old accountant who was working at a shop in the onion-potato market and a trader from the vegetable market became the victim of the coronavirus on Thursday night. Both of them tested positive for COVID-19 positive at the beginning of the month and were under treatment.
Ashok Walunj, director of the onion-potato market in APMC confirmed the death of the accountant. However, he is little skeptical on the operation of the market from Monday. “We will have a meeting on Saturday to decide on the reopening of the market,” said Walunj.
Shankar Pingle, director of the Vegetable market also confirmed the death of trader from the market due to coronavirus.
A senior civic official said that the APMC Vashi supplies essential commodities to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and it cannot be closed for a long time.
As per the health department of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), till Thursday, the city has reported 910 corona positive cases of which 356 positive cases are linked to the APMC. “Even the APMC was closed, the positive cases cropping up are linked with the, however, the rate has come down,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the disinfection of three markets—onion-potato, spices and food grains—have been completed while the remaining two markets—vegetables and fruits will be completed by Sunday.
Municipal commissioner Annasaheb Misal along with Tushar Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner of Solid waste management and Anil Chavan, secretary of APMC inspected the disinfection work being varied out in the market complex. Misal instructed the APMC administration to carry out maximum online transactions and access only after thermal screening. Besides, apart from wearing masks and maintaining social distance, all traders, office bearers, labourers have to follow guidelines laid by the government if they have fever, cough, sore throat and breathing problems.
Rumours of shops opening in Navi Mumbai
The NMMC administration has clarified that the message being circulated in the social media that shops will open on an alternate day under the NMMC jurisdiction is false and civic body has not issued any order as such. The civic chief has also warned that strict action will be taken against people who are spreading rumors in the city.