The busy Ernakulam Market located in the heart of Kochi city has been shut after two more workers at a shop in the market were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday. Earlier, their colleague, a Thrissur native retailer, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. After the two workers tested positive on Tuesday, the Ernakulam district administration ordered the market to be temporarily shut.
The area surrounding the market — from St Francis Cathedral in the north to Convent Junction and Public Library Junction in the south as well as TD road in the east and Broadway in the west — has been shut. This area is the busiest spot in Kochi city and a hub of commercial activities with hundreds of closely located shops.
It was on June 27 that a worker of an electrical shop in the area tested positive for coronavirus. On Tuesday, two more workers of the same shop — a 31-year-old Kasaragod native and 42-year-old Palakkad native — were found to have contracted the disease.
The primary contacts of the three people have been made to undergo quarantine. The shop was closed on Tuesday following the direction of health officials.
It has been decided to test all the workers of the market who show symptoms of COVID-19. Ernakulam District Collector has also directed the health officials to conduct random testing among the workers in the market area. As on Tuesday, samples of 26 workers have been tested.
Minister VS Sunil Kumar, who is in charge of the district in containing COVID-19 pandemic, warned that the shops, which are outside the containment zone limit of the market, will also have to be closed if physical distancing is not followed. “There should be caution among people working in such shops and also among customers,” he said.