The market was closed on June 4 following a decision by the Corporation of Cochin

The Champakkara wholesale market reopened Monday as Kerala gears up to meet a much subdued Onam week. The Corporation of Cochin health authorities and the police department have issued strict instructions to adhere to social distancing norms, wear masks and use hand sanitisers frequently as the COVID-19 pandemic continued its threat.

The market reopened about 2 a.m. and remained open till 6 a.m., said a person working in the market. Only wholesale operations are allowed and “we are not sure what will happen to the stocks as days go by,” he said after the market closed.

The Champakkara fish market is one of the busiest in Kerala and caters to most of the rural areas surrounding Kochi.

The market was closed on June 4 following a decision by the Corporation of Cochin, which is authorised to supervise the market operations. More than a dozen people were arrested for not wearing masks and not following social distancing norms in the market as authorities decided to close down operations of the market.

The government and local authorities are being appealed to by trade bodies, including the Ernakulam Merchant Chamber of Commerce and Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, to reopen markets and places of business as the annual Onam festivities are now underway. The Onam week marks the crest of business in the State after the rainy season. Sellers of products ranging from everyday consumables to consumable durables pin their hopes on the Onam season, lasting more than a fortnight, for about 40% to 50% of their annual business.

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