A popular long-standing market vendor was escorted by police out of the Southern Wholesale market in Debe on Sunday after it was found that she failed to self-quarantine following her return from Canada.
The vendor came to the market around 6 am and set up her produce which consisted of tomatoes, sweet peppers, melongene and cabbage.
“Her relatives had advised her to stay home and not come to the market but she refused,” the source said.
Another source said, “Then we heard her coughing and someone told us that she had returned from Canada on Friday. Many of us were very scared but we did not want to go around her to ask her anything because she was coughing. In the meantime, customers came and bought stuff from her. She had sold out almost half of her goods by 10 am,” the source explained.
A report was made to the Market Manager Steven Baboolal but no attempts were made to remove her. It was then that the vendors contacted their MP Dr Roodal Moonilal who lodged a complaint with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
A team of officers arrived at the market and questioned the vendor who said she came back from abroad 12 days ago. However, the police advised her to pack up her goods. She was given a mask and gloves.
She was then escorted out of the market.
The police officers advised her to engage in self-quarantine and warned that she will be charged if she returned anywhere to vend. Her goods were given back to her.
In an interview with Guardian Media, Moonilal said he was very disturbed that someone would willfully endanger the lives of others at a time when COVID-19 was on the increase.
“I cannot prejudge someone. I have no immigration records but out of an abundance of concern I decided to call the authorities to at least check because the matter is gravely serious,” Moonilal said.
He called on all constituents and members of the national community to please take the matter seriously.
“I have been fighting for peoples right to sell and conduct business and while they are free to do that, they are not free to impair the health of anyone. I called on people who travel and return to self-quarantine and isolate themselves. I want to congratulate Commissioner Griffith and Anglican Bishop Berkley who travelled recently for engaging in proper self quarantined to protect themselves and others,” Moonilal added.
He also said he had a meeting with the Funsplash management and a decision was taken to shut down the water park until further notice.
Moonilal also called on the NAMDEVCO officials to properly sanitize the market and ensure that crowds are staggered.
“I am also conducting my own investigations to find out why no action was taken when the report was made about the vendor who failed to self-quarantine,” he added.
Attempts to contact the market manager Steven Baboolal for comment proved futile as calls went unanswered.