The COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus reportedly originated in the Wuhan Province of China, which is referred to as Ground Zero! There are various reports as to the actual cause of origin with most people believing that the wet markets of that region to be the primary reason while some reports state that the virus leaked from a lab studying the virus strain, in that region! However, towards the beginning of this year, the Corona Virus began spreading to almost all the countries of the world and was declared a Pandemic, by March! Though initially India was not heavily affected, it has now grown to the third spot on the list of countries most affected by this Virus and stands only behind the USA and Brazil! In India, Maharashtra continues being the most infected state while Tamil Nadu comes a close second on the list of most affected states!

The COVID numbers were initially low in Tamil Nadu but the Koyambedu Wholesale Market turned into a major hotspot and became responsible for the rapid spread of this Virus. Eventually, the cases originating from the Koyambedu Market became the biggest cluster in Tamil Nadu and the government decided to close down the market temporarily, in May! A portion of the Wholesale Market was then shifted to Thirumazhisai, after many top leaders from the TN Government inspected the place. However, for quite some time now, the traders of the Koyambedu Market have been requesting the TN Government to reopen the Market as they state that the infrastructure facilities are not proper at Thirumazhisai and is leading to heavy losses for them. This has also caused a sharp spike in vegetable prices across Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalim Peramaippu (TN Traders Union) recently organised a meeting, which was attended by flowers, fruits & vegetables merchants. At this meeting, it has reportedly been decided to hold a 1-day state-wide strike on August 10th, to demand the reopening of the Koyambedu Market! The President of this association - Vikramaraja addressed the Press and expressed his dismay at the prolonged shutting down of the Koyambedu and other smaller markets across the state and demanded that they be reopened immediately, as it is affecting the livelihoods of hundreds of traders. He also stated that all markets across Tamil Nadu would be shut on August 10th (Monday) but reiterated that they do not want to gather crowds in the name of a protest, during this Pandemic situation. Vikramaraja also stated that if the government does not take any favourable decisions, they would have no choice but to announce a continuous strike! The association members have already met with the TN Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and submitted their demands and also mentioned that a committee can be formed with their association members also on board to segregate and streamline the safe functioning of the market! Stay tuned for updates...