The South African government has closed an entire urban fruit and vegetable market after a cashier who recently returned from India tested positive for coronavirus.
The market serves the huge state capital Pietermaritzburg. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) ordered the market to close for two days.
It reopened after disinfection, but it is reported that buyers have stayed away in large numbers in the past few days.
Stand owners in the market are also concerned about the situation. "My sons and I have had frequent contact with this lady, and although we were released after testing, we are still concerned about what will happen afterwards," said one customer.
Stand owners as well as neighbors of the cashier said that she had refused to go into the recommended 14-day self-isolation after returning from a vacation in India.
"She went and returned before the blockade in South Africa and India and insisted on going on vacation that she had saved for many years," a nameless neighbor told the local media.
The woman had ignored the self-isolation order and insisted that she report to work immediately because she had used up all of the vacation days.
When she showed flu-like symptoms five days after her return, she went to a doctor and was found positive for the coronavirus.
"As a cashier, she has interacted with dozens of people every day, and we are now asking anyone who has come into contact with her to be tested," said a city government official.
World-renowned virologist Gita Ramjee was the first South African woman of Indian descent to die after becoming infected with the novel corona virus, which killed five people in the country.