Mumbai: South Mumbai's Lalbaugh market, which recorded a heavy footfall of Mumbaikars ever since the lockdown rules were relaxed, will remain shut till Sunday (June 28) starting from Wednesday.
Since the lockdown rules were relaxed by the state government as part of the 'Mission Begin Again', Mumbaikars from nearby areas of Parel, Currey Road and Byculla thronged Lalbaugh.
Within two days, seven people were tested positive of COVID-19 who were nearby residents and lived in close proximity of the market. Out of the seven infected persons, four of them were shop owners and retailers in the market. As a result, the members of the Lalbaugh market association, along with Mumbai Police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) came to terms and decided to close the market for next five days to break the chain of the spread.
Anil Kokil, Shiv Sena Corporator, Lalbaugh and Parel, said that local BMC ward officials, corporators and police officers held a meeting with the members of Lalbaugh Vyapari Association and have taken the decision of closing the market jointly.
"Since the markets were opened after two months, people from nearby areas, thronged the market premises. Thre are seven cases already and to prevent the spread of the dreaded virus we had to close the market" said Kokil.
"The market association voluntarily agreed to cooperate and have supported the cause of lockdown. This is a serious situation and I am sure everyone will adhere by the rules" added Kokil.
After the market was reopened it was recording a daily footfall of 4000 people. Being the major market in South Mumbai, it became difficult for the civic officials to control the crowds and as a result, social distancing went for a toss.
All the seven infected patients have been hospitalized and their family members have been quarantined. In order to ensure fast-paced contact tracing. The civic body is now conducting door to door medical screening at Lalbaugh and its adjoining areas.
"Our business was shut for almost three months and closing it for five more days wont affect us much. As these are testing times and keeping ourselves safe is the need of the hour" said Sagar Gupta, who is a member of business association and has three shops in the market.