118 People Tested Positive at TAPMC 1st and 2nd Markets 北農118人確診 拍賣.理貨員染疫影響供應

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the supply chain of perishable foods as at least over 100 employees working at the Taipei First Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market were diagnosed with COVID. The marketplace said it would recruit retired workers for assistance after its daily supply has dropped from 5,360 tons to just over 1,000 tons.

Fruits and vegetables are packed and ready to go from the Taipei First Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market. With domestic COVID-19 cases increasing again, anyone who needs to enter the marketplace needs to show the yellow vaccination cards with all three shots administered. 

Fruits and vegetable seller: “Everyone carries the yellow vaccination card with them in the vehicle. People check upon entrance. ”

The First Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market is operated by the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation (TAPMC). TAPMC says that only 27 out of 80 sellers are left working at the marketplace, the rest have been tested positive. One-third of the tally clerks are also down. The shortage in staff greatly affects the fruits and vegetable supply. A total of 112 employees recently tested positive at the First Wholesale Market, while six have tested positive at the Second Wholesale Market, TAPMC reported.

Lu Chuan-li, TAPMC Spokesperson: “Twenty-one sellers showed up today, but there were 34 sellers before April 17. They are vegetable sellers. As for fruit sellers, ten showed up today, but there were 13 before April 17. ”

TAPMC notified central and southern Taiwan that Taipei would be supplying fewer fruits and vegetables for a while. Lawmakers are displeased with TAPMC's decision of cutting the supply by more than half, from 5,360 tons to just over 1,000 tons. They demand a schedule from TAPMC for when vacated positions would be refilled and supply would come back to normal. TAPMC says they plan on combining auctions for different categories, lengthening auction time, accepting more online orders, recruiting retired sellers for assistance, and two other methods to resolve the staff shortage crisis.

Lu Chuan-li, TAPMC Spokesperson: “From April 1 to April 23, actually, to 24th which is this Sunday, the market received on average a total of 1,411 tons (of fruits and vegetables). Today we received 1,713 tons and that's above-average also.”

Chang Yu-wei, Vendor Section Chief, Taipei City Market Administration Office: “If workers tested positive from rapid tests, they are immediately asked to go do PCR and to stop coming to work. Vendors should be considered to do the same.”

TAPMC says the current fruits and vegetable supply is as stable as the situation allows, and they will enforce disinfection at the marketplace. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang says the worst case is to suspend business. TAPMC declined to comment on whether they would need to suspend business. They say that employees are working very hard at the moment and that they are continuing to discuss with the government on whether employees can do rapid tests on their own in replacement of quarantine. 











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