The Guntur Mirchi Yard in Andhra Pradesh, considered one of Asia's largest chilli markets, will remain shut until June 7. Guntur District Collector Samuel Anand Kumar issued a directive after a daily wage worker at the yard tested positive for coronavirus on May 30.
The state government has begun tracing his contacts and shifting them to quarantine centres. According to reports, the Collector asked that the entire yard premises to be sanitised before the market can re-open again.
Meanwhile, the Kolli Sarada Wholesale Vegetable Market has also been shut after a trader who visited the area was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 28.
On Tuesday alone, 23 cases of COVID-19 could be traced back to the vegetable market, while over 200 contacts had been traced for testing.
Authorities suspect that the traders here were doing business in the Koyambedu market in Chennai, which was identified as one of the biggest spreaders of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Several cases have been reported in Andhra Pradesh, especially from the border districts of Chittoor and Nellore, that have been traced back to the Koyambedu cluster.
The issue has also been discussed at review meetings by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and state health department officials.
In a relief of sorts, the Koyambedu connection did not crop up in the last 24 hours. While no cases had been reported on Sunday, 8 cases with travel history to Koyambedu market had been reported on Monday.
The aggregate number of coronavirus cases touched 3,791 in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday as the upward spiral continued with 115 additions in the last 24 hours.
The latest government health bulletin said no fresh deaths due to the virus were reported in a 24-hour period ending at 9 am on Tuesday, while 40 patients were discharged from hospitals upon recovery. The overall COVID-19 death toll in the state so far is 64.
Of the 115 new cases, 82 were residents of the state and the remaining 33 came from other states, the bulletin said.
Meanwhile, the government started COVID-19 tests for its Secretariat employees in Amaravati after two staffers were found infected with the disease on Monday.
On Tuesday, employees of Home and other departments in the Secretariat Block-2 were tested and the process is expected to continue for three days, sources in the Medical and Health Department said.
IANS and PTI inputs