At least 40 percent of those working at Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung promised that operations won't be halted.
There are still many trucks waiting outside to unload products going up for auction. Almost 40 percent of workers including numerous auctioneers at Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co.'s First Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market recently tested positive. The Taipei City Market Administration Office said operations are severely affected. No auctioneers at the Second Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market have yet tested positive. Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung promised the markets will continue operating.
Hsieh Yi-fong, Legislator (KMT): “The first market won't close. ”
Chen Chi-chung, Agriculture Minister:: “Of course it can't close. It can't close. It (Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co.) is right now contacting some retired auctioneers. It's also contacting people who used to work there to respond to this situation.”
The Council of Agriculture encouraged the use of pre-orders so that produce can be delivered directly to sellers. The first and second markets currently handle the auctioning of 60 percent and 40 percent of produce, respectively. Chen said 10 percent of the first market's volume will be shifted to the second market. The auction time will also be prolonged.
Chen Chi-chung, Agriculture Minister: “The auction area at Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co.'s first market has about 30 to 40 tables for holding products to be auctioned. Each can hold one to two types of products. Right now we're auctioning three to four product types per table, so we are adjusting the auction time. In other words, we're extending TAPMC's business hours.”
The transaction volume on April 26 was 1,713 tons. Compared to one week earlier, the price per kilo dropped by NT$5.2. The office said this is not considered abnormal. As for the close contacts of the confirmed cases, the COA said it will coordinate with the Taipei City Government to apply to the Central Epidemic Command Center to replace quarantine with rapid tests because wholesale produce markets are considered important infrastructure.