Stand apart: As large crowds gather to stock goods, shopkeepers teach social distancing to customers

As the country went on complete lockdown starting Wednesday, the government has said all essential goods and food items will be made available. Yet, the 21-day lockdown triggered panic-buying across the country immediately after the announcement made by PM Modi. This has triggered huge crowds at grocery shops as people rush to stock goods unsure if local shops will run out of supplies in the coming days. As shopkeepers struggle with large crowds, many have asked customers to maintain distance with each other, use sanitisers and masks while standing in the queues.

Some shopkeepers have even chalked out designated positions for customers so that they stand at least 1 metre apart from each other. Gujarat administration has marked out designated spots for customers who are queuing up outside grocery and other shops.

Pune grocery shops are also seeing to it that the customers maintain proper distance and hygiene. The shopkeepers in Pune, which is one of the hardest-hit coronavirus affected regions in the country, are spraying soap water on glass panels and giving sanitisers to customers while they are at the shop. They are also appealing to customers to put on masks. Grocery shops and milk distribution centres have assured people that they will remain functional and will continue the services throughout the lockdown period.

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