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On day 1 of nation-wide lockdown, a look at how people are practicing social distancing

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New Delhi, Mar 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for complete lockdown for 21 days as it is crucial for India to contain spread of coronavirus. He said that social distancing is the only safe distance to curb COVID-19 disease and thus it is important to stay inside our homes and stay at a distance from each other.

On day 1 of nation-wide lockdown, a look at how people are practicing social distancing

While people rushed to buy essential items, some of them simply went out for no reason. The police ensured that the people flouting restrictions and those going out were made to sit/ stand in circles drawn to maintain social distance, in several parts of the country.

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Grocery and milk stores across the country have hit upon an innovative way to ensure social distancing as people queue up to buy.

The idea is proving a healthy option for people who come out of their homes to purchase groceries and vegetables. Some towns such as Panhala, Ajara and a village called Pulachi Shiroli in Kolhapur district have started implementing the social distancing idea since Tuesday evening.

Ranjit Chougule, a resident of Pulachi Shiroli village near Kolhapur city told PTI, When I saw the photos of the China all, I was at first amused and thought those people were being crazy. After some time, I realised that it is a useful idea as social distancing will be maintained as well as people will get groceries and other essential services.

"I discussed it with friends and showed it to local shop owners, who after some deliberations decided to go for it. We used white colour to mark circles and/or squares on the road at a distance of over three feet between each marking. People were asked to stand as per the markings and soon they were also comfortable with it," he said.

A local police official confirmed the development. We were not sure how people would react to it, but it seems the idea is working. Now people don't panic while buying vegetables and groceries and it has reduced our burden as well, the official said.

An official from the Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office on Wednesday said the government has started pushing the concept across the state by sharing photos of such social distancing practices across the state.

"We have so far received photographs from Kolhapur, Nanded and from Talegaon Dabhade town near Pune where people have drawn circles or squares on the street in vegetable markets as well as outside the grocery shops.

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"People are following the guidelines by standing in a queue and are also maintaining the required distance, the official said. With 112 confirmed cases so far, Maharashtra tops the COVID-19 patients tally in the country.

In a similar instance, outside a mall in China, the management drew circles on the floor to maintain social distancing to curb coronavirus spread.

With no vaccine or cure available, social distancing has become a vital part of people's life across the world.

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