The Mumbai Agriculture Produces Market Committee (APMC), located at Vashi in Navi Mumbai, will remain shut from May 11-17 due to increasing number of Covid-19 cases. All five sections of the market, including onion & potato, fruits, vegetables spices, dry fruits & food grains will remain shut for a week.
The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Konkan commissioner Shivaji Daund, Anoop Kumar (principle secretary, marketing), Mathadi leader Narendra Patil, Navi Mumbai municipal commissioner Annasaheb Misal and traders, among others. According to APMC officials, around 125 people from the APMC market have been infected with coronavirus. Around 484 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Navi Mumbai. In the last five days, 184 new cases have been reported.
Mathadi leader Patil said that number of cases had risen in the last 15 day. “During the screening held last Sunday for 4,000 people, 58 swabs were taken, of which 12-15 were positive. Another meeting will be held on May 15 where measures will be discussed to prevent the further spread of Covid-19,” he said. Measures were discussed to continue the transportation of foodgrains and vegetables in Mumbai, he said.
MLA Ganesh Naik had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Uddhav Thackeray seeking the closure of the market. During the closure period, the Mathadi workers, traders totalling about 15,000 will be screened for the virus. Those with symptoms will be treated and only those who test negative for the virus will be allowed to enter the market, APMC officials said. Labourers and traders fear that they may get infected with coronavirus.
APMC administration and NMMC will carry out disinfection of the market premises and conduct tests. The market will remain open on this Saturday and Sunday.
Navi Mumbai mayor Jaywant Sutar on Thursday appealed to the Maharashtra government to completely shut the APMC market in Vashi. The APMC market is the principal supplier of grains, vegetables, fruits and spices to Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and is among the largest complexes of its kind in the country.