Test by newsin.asia/Photos: Ajith Perera/Xinhua
Colombo, December 16: The Peliyagoda fish market, one of the largest fish markets in Sri Lanka, reopened on Wednesday after a three-month shutdown due to COVID-19. It was locked down because it had become a COVID-19 hotspot.
With the closure of the market, fish sales plummeted in Colombo as people feared that fishes could carry the virus. No amount of persuasion by the government would make the people eat fish.
To prove that fish are not carriers of the virus, a former fisheries minister and an opposition member of parliament Dilip Wedaarachchi, ate a raw fish at a press conference in Colombo. This isn’t even the first time a public figure in Sri Lanka has come up with an unusual appeal. A Sri Lankan minister had climbed a coconut tree to raise awareness about the shortage of coconuts on the island!
Wedaarachchi said that the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a slump in Sri Lanka’s fish industry, a major source of the country’s revenue.
“I brought this fish to show you. I am making an appeal to the people of this country to eat this fish. Don’t be afraid. You will not get infected by the coronavirus,” the 63-year-old said. He then bit into the fish.
According to a Reuters report, fish sales in the country have plummeted after a major COVID-19 cluster emerged in the Central Fish Market in the outskirts of the capital last month.
The outbreak in the main wholesale market led to thousands of infections and spread across the country. Tonnes of fish have been left unsold after the market was forced to close, and prices plunged as people refused to buy.