Coronavirus outbreak: Shopkeepers nod to social distancing

Updated on Mar 30, 2020 12:23 PM IST

The nationwide 21-day lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focuses on the importance of social distancing to combat Covid-19 pandemic.

Grocery shop and dairy booth owners have turned to innovative preventive measures so that proper etiquette of social distancing can be maintained.
Grocery shop and dairy booth owners have turned to innovative preventive measures so that proper etiquette of social distancing can be maintained.
Hindustan Times | BySanchita Kalra

The nationwide 21-day lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focuses on the importance of social distancing to combat Covid-19 pandemic.

Grocery shop and dairy booth owners have turned to innovative preventive measures so that proper etiquette of social distancing can be maintained.

A photo taken in Gujarat, of how a shopkeeper is maintaining a gap between himself and a customer, as well as in between customers, went viral. It showed shoppers in a queue and standing at a designated spot, while buying their essentials.

And, many shopkeepers in the Capital have also come up with new ways to avoid coming in contact with the buyer. A dairy store in Janakpuri’s Choti Subzi Mandi has put up wooden tables in front of the shop to keep distance.

Mahender Pahuja says, “It’s a local market and there isn’t much area to make a queue. So, we came up with this idea to at least distance our workers from customers. As a precaution, all workers have been given masks and gloves.”

Another local store in Model Town has decided to restrict the number of shoppers. The owner says, “We took this step to ensure that people are keeping a safe distance. Hum dhakka-mukki nahi chahte.”

A resident of Lajpat Nagar, Swati B, tells us about another unique way of distancing. “A local shop here has painted numbers on the ground spaced apart, and we’re asked to stand on them, maintaining a gap,” she says.

She requests citizens to stay calm during such trying times and cooperate. She adds, “Many people aren’t used to the idea of social distancing and suddenly they want to join or break the queue, but they need to understand this is in our interest.”

Shopkeepers are also encouraging buyers to opt for digital methods of payment instead of cash to avoid contact.

sanchita.kalra@htlive.com

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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