Butchers Anthony Wazid Ali, left and Ashton Ali outside the Chaguanas Market yesterday

Butchers are calling on the Chaguanas Borough Corporation to investigate the theft of 160 pounds of beef from the Chaguanas Market while the facility was closed during a COVID-19 scare over the weekend.

The CMOH ordered that the market be closed on Saturday after a vendor was tested positive for the virus.

The market was sanitised and re-opened yesterday.

Butcher Ashton Ali said some of the vendors were allowed to remove their meat on Saturday night.

Ali said 120 pounds of beef he owned was taken from a chiller at the market. Ali has since reported the theft to the Chaguanas Police and would be writing the mayor seeking compensation for his loss.

Anthony Wazid Ali, another butcher, said he discovered 40 pounds of beef missing when he also went to check his stash stored in the chiller.

Wazid Ali said he tried to get his beef out of the market over the weekend but was denied.

He said half of a beef shoulder and spare ribs were stolen.

Mayor Faaiq Mohammed said the claims by the butchers are being investigated by the authorities at the CBC.

Mohammed said the market would be sanitised every evening after the facility is closed. He said the borough ran out of funding to have the facility sanitised on an hourly basis as was done in the recent past.

Roma Balroop, who sells salted fish and smoked herring, said the two-day loss of business affected her sales on what was expected to be a busy weekend.

Deokie Calapnath, who has been selling at the Chaguanas Market since in the 1980s, said she was turned back when she came to sell on Sunday.

Calapnath said the market has a large population of stray cats. She said the cats defecated on her stall over the weekend.

The stall from where the COVID-19 infected vendor operates and those suspected to be primary contacts remained empty yesterday.

Wholesalers Dwayne Noel and Sookdeo Jagdeo said business was slow for them with the closure of the market.

Jagdeo said sales was also slow at the facility yesterday.