Social distancing: Circles, squares drawn outside shops

Social distancing: Circles, squares drawn outside Maharashtra shops

Representative image.

 Inspired by photos outside a mall in China where the management drew circles on the floor to maintain social distancing to curb coronavirus spread, people in parts of Maharashtra have started implementing the same.

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 said, When I saw the photos of 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.

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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.

"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.

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