District Collector S Sivarasu told TNM that the process of contact tracing and isolating contacts has been started and that there is no need for alarm.

A woman is sitting on the ground wearing a mask and gloves with crates of vegetables like onions, cabbage, raw banana, cauliflower, greens and others in front of her.Image for representation | PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 11:54

Five vegetable vendors from Trichy’s Uzhavar Sandhai (Farmer’s market) have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, following which the market has been closed for disinfection. However, there are concerns among vendors and the public that the market could turn into a possible COVID-19 cluster.

Speaking to TNM, Trichy District Collector S Sivarasu says, “Only five vendors from the market have tested positive for the virus. We’re now in the process of contact tracing and isolating contacts. There is no need for alarm.”

Earlier this week, Trichy amped up its testing capability to about 1,000 people a day. “On Tuesday, we tested 1,350 persons. Last week we were testing only 750 people daily, now we have increased it to 1,250-1,350 people,” the Collector adds.

On July 4, 187 vendors from the market were tested for COVID-19 as part of a mass screening by the Trichy Corporation. However, the results were shared only on July 10. The fact that the corporation did not take any effort to isolate the 187 vendors before the results arrived has raised fears of COVID-19 transmission among the public.

According to reports, seven vendors from the Uzhavar Sandhai residing in Anna Nagar, Pattabiraman Street, Bhima Nagar and Palakkarai areas have contracted the infection. Two others from rural areas of the district too have tested positive. However, the Collector says that only five vendors from the market have tested positive. “The two from the rural area are not vendors but had contracted the infection from a shopkeeper who was detected earlier,” he told TNM.

The five affected vendors have been admitted to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in the city. According to reports, three vegetables vendors from the makeshift retail vegetable market at Madhuram Grounds on East Boulevard Road (EB Road) had already tested positive for coronavirus.

In March this year, the Gandhi Market in Trichy was split up and four locations were selected to set up makeshift markets. This includes the space along the Cauvery bridge, the Uzhavar Sandhai at Thennur Anna Nagar, the front portion of the Anna Stadium and Madhuram Grounds on EB Road.

On July 14, 117 new COVID-19 cases were reported from the district and there are 724 active COVID-19 patients as on date. On July 1, this number was 328.

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