Coronavirus outbreak: Mumbai's fruit, veggie supplies could be hit after APMC spice trader tests positive

Updated: Apr 09, 2020, 07:26 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

However, the committee had agreed to continue supply, soon after the March 26 lock down annoucement made by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and called back their shutdown until March 31

APMC market
APMC market

On Thursday, a trader from the spice market of Vashi's APMC Market tested positive for COVID-19, causing panic among members.

The APMC Committee had initially decided to shut the market (vegetable,onion, potato and fruits) along with dry fruits, spices market until March 31, as a precautionary measure, as over 15,000 mathadi workers and traders visit the market daily, other than 25,000 to 30,000 public and over 1,500 trucks laden with fruits and vegetables from all over the state entering the market.

However, the committee had agreed to continue supply, soon after the March 26 lock down annoucement made by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and called back their shutdown until March 31.

The committee started taking proactive measures by spraying disinfectants in the market and by keeping the market closed every Thursday and Sunday, said an APMC Committee official.

A war room was also set up, along with screening of all the traders, workers and public entering the premises, hand sanitizers were also provided at the entrance and entire vehicles entering the main gate of APMC were sprayed with sodium hypochloride. Also, to maintain social distancing the market was marked with circles separating areas.

"It is unfortunate that all our efforts have gone down the drain, we are clueless about the number of people the trader might have come in contact with" said a committee official.

The mathadi workers union has decided to call for a market shut down on Friday, fearing for the safety of the over 12,000 workers at APMC.

Also, the concern is hundreds of grain and vegetable.trucks are expected to be lined up outside APMC from the wee hours of Thursday. This may also impact the supply chain of vegetables, groceries and fruits to Mumbai and MMR areas, for the time being, said a market source.

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