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Traders at 2 Pathum Thani markets unhappy with extended closure order



Video screenshot: Thai PBS

Traders at 2 wet markets in the central province of Pathum Thani have expressed their frustration at the decision to keep the markets closed until next Thursday. The Pornpat and Suchart markets, in the Thanyaburi district, have been closed since last Friday and were supposed to re-open yesterday. However, officials have extended the closure in response to a number of new Covid-19 infections.

YouTube video

However, vendors say the new cases are not linked to the markets and the ongoing closure is having a significant impact on traders who are struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills. Noodle seller Pannee Paophan from Pornpat market says they haven’t received any discount on rent or any other assistance from the market owners. She adds that every vendor in the market has already been tested for the virus, but officials are now testing people who live nearby and wrongly attributing positive cases to the market.

The Bangkok Post reports that Pannee was speaking to the media while Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was visiting the market. Another vendor at Suchart market echoes Pannee’s comments. The fishball seller, named only as Onn, says factory workers who live near the market are being tested for Covid-19 and new infections are being reported as having come from the market. He says all workers at the market have already been tested, pointing out that while the market only has about 1,000 workers, officials say they have tested over 3,000. Onn says the extra cases are not from the market and is worried that more positive cases will lead to the closure being extended even further.

“The authorities initially told us that the markets would be closed for 5 days, but now the closure has been extended for 9 more days. I want to ask what the vendors will eat. We are suffering now.”

Meanwhile, the governor of Pathum Thani, Chaiwat Chuenkosum, says that when vaccines become available, vendors at both markets will be vaccinated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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