Tamil Nadu

Koyambedu market emerges a hotspot

The Koyambedu market has turned into a COVID-19 hotspot in the State. Other than Chennai, at least six districts are witnessing a spillover of cases from the wholesale hub.

The districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu are stepping up surveillance after the Koyambedu cluster started bringing in new cases.

According to officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation, 52 persons have tested positive for COVID-19, so far in Koyambedu. Results of 250 more persons are awaited.

Loaders from the Koyambedu wholesale market continue to leave the city, according to wholesale traders.

As only the wholesale vegetable market is allowed to function now, there are about 2,000 loaders in the market. At least 30-40 of them are leaving the market to their native places, as they are unable to find proper food and water. They return in trucks that bring produce from other parts of the State, said traders.

The market, on Saturday, received nearly 15,000 visitors, which is less in number than usual.

“We insist on masks and gloves as much as possible for visitors and for our labourers. While those attached to the wholesale shops remain in the market, some common loadmen are leaving the city,” said a wholesale vegetable merchant.

The results of the cluster have started to show in a number of districts. “There are more cases from the Koyambedu cluster. In Kancheepuram, we made a list of vegetable vendors in five blocks and screened them. We lifted samples from 17 vendors, of which seven have tested positive in Uthiramerur,” an official said.

Affected districts

Nineteen workers — 18 in Ariyalur and one in Perambalur — who returned from Chennai on April 30, tested positive. All 19 were working at the Koyambedu market and returned to their hometown after it was closed for retail vendors. Seven persons who tested positive in Cuddalore were also from Koyambedu.

In Tiruvallur district, a vegetable vendor in the Municipality limits tested positive two days ago.

She initially told officials that she only visited the local market to procure produce. But during contact tracing, officials found that she had visited the Koyambedu market. Of her seven family members who were tested for COVID-19, her daughter and son-in-law have tested positive, said officials.

Chengalpattu district, which has been reporting new cases continuously in the last few days, is facing a similar issue.

Among the new cases, the Koyambedu cluster has been identified as one of the main links. Officials are planning to stop movement from the district to Koyambedu and operate local markets with produce from local cultivation.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 12:06:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/koyambedu-market-emerges-a-hotspot/article31492067.ece

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