Grocery and grain market in APMC reopens

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After being intermittently shut in the last 50 days owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grocery and grain wholesale market in Pune’s Gultekdi resumed operations on Monday. Pune district reported over 450 new positive cases, making it the highest single-day surge, with 13 fatalities. The district’s cumulative tally has now risen to 6,153 while its death toll has shot to 280.

The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) had shut down the foodgrain market after nine traders tested positive last week. However, the vegetable and fruit markets have been completely shut since early April as most of the people doing business in the Yard came from the ‘highly infected’ areas within Pune city.

“While we were forced to shut down even the essential grain market, we decided to resume operations as we will have to learn to live with the novel coronavirus. Stringent precautionary measures will be followed and every person — vendor, farmer and labourer — entering the place will be tested by thermal guns for temperatures, while physical distancing norms will be adhered to,” said APMC administrator B.J. Deshmukh.

He added that the whole area will be sanitised daily.

He said following a meeting of traders on Tuesday, the APMC will review the situation and will probably take a call on opening up the vegetable and fruit markets as well.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar, however, said the number of active positive cases across the district is only 2,776, while nearly 3,000 people have been discharged till date. “A total 2,998 people have recovered and have been discharged while 207 among the active cases are critical,” he said.

The total case tally for Pimpri-Chinchwad has risen to 383 with the town reporting 38 new cases. The total tally for the rural areas in Pune district has climbed to 501 cases, with 14 new cases reported on Monday.

The death toll in Pune division — which consists of the districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur along with Pune – has now touched 343, with Solapur reporting six new deaths to take its fatality figure to 52.

Mr. Mhaisekar said the division’s total case tally till 3 p.m. on Monday stood at 7,218, of which 47% or 3,442 cases had been discharged, while 3,435 were active cases. As many as 210 among these were ‘critical’, he said.

After Pune, Solapur is a major virus hotspot in the region, reporting 20 new cases on Monday, to take its total tally to 590. “Solapur has 273 active cases while Satara reported 31 new cases, to take its total case tally to 309, of which 182 are active,” Mr. Mhaisekar said.

With a massive influx of people from Mumbai and other areas following easing of lockdown rules, Kolhapur reported a spike of 55 new cases, to take its total to 341, of whom 326 are active.

The district has seen an increase of more than 200 new cases in a week. With six new cases, Sangli’s total case tally stands at 79, of whom 37 are active.

“The samples of 72,855 people have been tested across the division so far, of which those of 64,607 have been received while the test results of the rest are awaited. Of these, 57,280 samples have returned negative while 7,218 have tested positive,” he said.

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