Trader from Vashi’s grains market tests positive; market to remain open

PUNE: A trader from the grains market of Vashi APMC has tested positive for Covid-19, increasing challenges in front of the traders as well as the state government to keep the markets open. The market is likely to remain open as government is trying its best to contain the spread of the virus at the wholesale market.

“One trader from the grains market was found positive today morning. We have sealed the entire L wing of the grains market and started its sanitisation. A team of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation doctors is checking all traders in L wing,” said Anil Chavan, secretary, Vashi APMC.

The trader that has been tested positive on Friday stays in Navi Mumbai and had fever for a few days, some senior traders from the market told ET. The traders said that the fear among traders, their families, the loading and unloading labour and other market functionaries has increased. “The government is trying that the market should not remain closed. However, we cannot pressurise the traders to come to the market. We will like to wait and see if government can take some measures and assure us about our safety and take our decision about opening up of the market on Sunday,” said a veteran trader from the grains market.

Senior officers of the state government and the police department held a meeting at the market on Friday evening to keep the market open. Earlier, senior state government officials had said that the news of closure of the wholesale market had led to hoarding and profiteering by some wholesale and retail traders.

Labour leader Shashikant Shinde said, “It has been decided to keep the market open. We are not forcing any labour to work.”

The grains market was closed since Saturday till Wednesday after a trader from the spices market was found Corona positive last week. Traders were also agitated and not willing to open the market as government had raided offices of two grains market traders. However, they started work from Thursday after Eknath Shinde, cabinet minister in Maharashtra government intervened and assured traders all the support they need from the government.

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