Corporation Commissioner Prakash further added that strict action will be taken against those who spread such fake messages.

Supermarkets vegetable markets will remain open in Chennai Commissioner confirmsImage for Representation
Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 13:15

Amid complete shutdown of malls, theatres and public spaces in Tamil Nadu, rumours that the fruit and vegetable markets in the city, including Chennai’s Koyambedu market, have been asked to shut shops by Chennai’s Corporation Commissioner are circulating on social media and WhatsApp.

Brushing aside these rumours as fake news, Chennai Corporation Commissioner Prakash clarified, “Except those establishments like malls, theatres etc other facilities like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish markets will remain open. All small grocery stores, small trade establishments, supermarkets etc will remain open too. The aim is to prevent the spread of virus, not to affect the common man’s life.” Alby John, South Zone Deputy Commissioner of Chennai Corporation too confirmed that instructions have only been given to close the big shopping complexes and malls and not the markets.

Corporation Commissioner Prakash further added that strict action will be taken against those who spread such fake messages. “Such rumours will be criminally taken cognisance of and the creators and those who spread will be taken to task as per law. It’s a time where we’ve to show iron solidarity,” he added.

The city corporation has further ordered that trucks coming from other states to the Koyambedu market must be disinfected before they enter to prevent the spread of virus.

Urging people to stock up, the fake news message reads, “Corporation of Chennai has made mandatory closure of all vegetable, fruit markets (like Koyambedu, Mylapore, Mambalam, Guindy) in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu from today midnight to 31st March as corona preventive measures. We just got information from all shop vendors in Mambalam Main Market in front of Station. Request all to have groceries and vegetables in adequate storage and also inform your known ones.. Pray for Eradication of Corona & other Virus related diseases. (sic)”

On Tuesday, the Corporation Commissioner G Prakash told TNM that big establishments including multi-story outlets in Chennai's T Nagar will be shut down in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

“We have instructed shops - the bigger establishments which have large footfall - to shut down. This is in the interest of public health. Some of these stores have 1000 people working for them in addition to a huge number of people who visit,” he said. “They don't fall under the traditional definition of a mall but the state government told us we can ask establishments to shut down based on the kind of threat it may pose to public health,” he added.

In addition to this, the state government already passed an order directing theatres, malls, government schools, and colleges to shut down to allow for social distancing and prevention of any infection.

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