The temporary closure of betel nut and clothing markets in Auki, Malaita Province has been described as unfair.
This is because Chinese operated shops continue to provide services during COVID-19 community transmission in Auki.
A former provincial government employee and betel nut vendor Modesto Tua told Solomon Star in an interview.
He further complained that the suspension of all sales has impacted on the daily income.
“The closure has affected most of the vendors who depend much on the daily sales for their families’ survival,” Tua said.
Both markets were close on Tuesday as part of the Malaita Provincial Government response to the threat of COVID-19 community transmission in Auki.
“Those of us who depend on selling betel nuts are now affected, with no earning since Tuesday.”
Mr Tua said it is not fair to close the betel nut market while Chinese shops continue to operate during this COVID community transmission.
Malaita Province Premier Daniel Suidani earlier said vendors who depend heavily on the markets for income will be greatly affected.
However, he said it is important to note that the province is facing unusual times and the province must take steps to try to minimize community transmission.
He said the betel nut and clothing markets pose high risk for COVID-19 to transmit much faster.
The reopening of betel nut and clothing market will depend on further risk assessments.
By SOLOMON LOFANAAuki News Bureau