Koyembedu market is one of the largest vegetable, fruits and flower markets in Chennai, which is usually seen buzzing with activity 24x7 on any given day. Trucks from various districts or from various northern states keep commuting to the Koyembedu market to transport the fruits and vegetables to and fro.
But the Coronavirus didn't spare the market and made it into one of the most vulnerable hotspots in Tamil Nadu, affecting at least 300 of them thus becoming a separate cluster and the epicentre of COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu.
Hence, the Chennai metropolitan development authority, a government body that manages the Koyembedu market shut the market and has given a different location at the outskirts of the city to continue the trade since the vegetable and fruit supply to the Chennai should not be cut.
Everything started with just two positive cases10 days back which has now spread to over 300 people across the state as they visited the Koyembedu market in the last few days, many have tested positive after reaching their districts.
Cuddalore district which was orange zone has become red zone again with 120 cases related to Koyembedu alone while Ariyalur district has got around 30. Vizhupuram district has 38 positive cases related to Koyembedu. All are traders, truck drivers and load men who visited the Koyembedu market in the last few days are at risk of the infection.
Meanwhile, the government has started a massive contact tracking operations on Koyembedu cluster, since over 7,500 people have visited the market from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The health department has also sent orders to all the district collectors to track and put the people under quarantine if they had visited Koyembedu recently. Collectors of many districts have appealed people to come forward if they have recent travel history to the Koyembedu market and more than 2000 in various districts have been put into quarantine already.
527 positive cases were reported in Tamil Nadu on Monday and most of the cases were related to Koyembedu, said the health department while the total number of cases is 3,550 in the State with 2,107 active cases.
The market is been temporarily shifted to Thirumazhisai, which is on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu. The govt will be taking strict measures at the new place and all the social distancing norms should be followed while only wholesale is allowed in this new market to ensure the supply of vegetables and fruits to the state capital.