Major markets in Ernakulam come under closer scrutiny

All-out effort: Fire and Rescue Services personnel disinfect police vehicles in Ernakulam on Tuesday as part of a major cleaning drive to contain COVID-19 spread.

All-out effort: Fire and Rescue Services personnel disinfect police vehicles in Ernakulam on Tuesday as part of a major cleaning drive to contain COVID-19 spread.  

Steps taken to ensure lorry drivers do not mingle with traders, customers

Major markets in the district are under close scrutiny by the district administration, Health Department and stakeholders as these are the points that maintain regular contact with destinations outside the State that are fighting to contain COVID-19.

The markets include the main Ernakulam market, the central market at Aluva as well as the pineapple market at Vazhakkulam, which account for nearly a hundred lorry arrivals on a daily basis during normal days. Though the numbers have come down during the lockdown, precautions are being taken to ensure that the drivers and crew do not mingle with wholesalers, retailers and customers who come to the market.

C.J. George, egg merchant at the Ernakulam market, said unloading operations had been streamlined and it was being ensured that all operations ended by about 6 a.m. The number of lorries had come down to about 10 per day, he said.

Inter-State drivers

A communication from the district administration said that inter-State lorry drivers were being managed carefully. They are not allowed to mingle with locals and their needs are taken care of. Loading operations have been curtailed to between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Information about the lorries, drivers and crew are collected and shared among the agencies involved in the lockdown maintenance operations.

Jose Perumpallykunnel, pineapple merchant at Muvattupuzha, said one of the samples from about a dozen sent for COVID-19 test had turned negative. The blood samples of the people were collected from the Vazhakkulam pineapple market after a driver, who took a load of pineapples to Chennai, tested positive for COVID-19 in Palakkad.

Lorries arriving to load the fruits were sanitized and drivers were not allowed to mingle with local people or merchants and other stakeholders, he said.

Minister’s meeting

Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar held a meeting with merchants and workers at the Aluva market to discuss steps to be taken to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 is continued without any let-up.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:00:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/major-markets-in-ernakulam-come-under-closer-scrutiny/article31458130.ece

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