Threat of COVID-19 spread looms over Vengeri market

Shopkeepers at the Agricultural Urban Wholesale Market at Vengeri fear that the COVID-19 pandemic will spread after merchants and vendors from Palayam shifted their activities to Vengeri.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

With heightened activity, fear of COVID-19 spread stalks the Agricultural Urban Wholesale Market at Vengeri on the outskirts of the city.

Merchants, traders and headload workers have shifted their activities there, following the closure of the Palayam market on Wednesday due to COVID-19 outbreak. About 250 persons at the market had tested positive after an antigen test was conducted on 760 people.

“What happened at Palayam is likely to be repeated at Vengeri if the health authorities fail to take precautionary measures,” said a farmer.

COVID-19 protocol measures have not been adopted at the Vengeri market, with most people not wearing masks or maintaining physical distancing. “After the Palayam market closed, the activities at Vengeri commenced at around 4 a.m. and the unrestrained business continued up to 9 a.m.,” said the farmer.

A week ago, the Central market was closed after more than 120 persons tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The majority of those who tested positive were vendors, headload workers and labourers.

About 200 farmers from Malappuram, Kannur, and Palakkad and Kozhikode have registered with the Vengeri market.

Auctioning has been going on at the market with the lifting of the lockdown in a phased manner. “We have been maintaining all norms,” said Narayanan Kalpakassery, chairman of Sangha Maithri, an apex body of farmers’ club, and convener of the auction committee.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 6:27:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/threat-of-covid-19-spread-looms-over-vengeri-market/article32699811.ece

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