As tough times call for tough as well as innovative measures, shopkeepers and store owners are turning responsible citizens by ensuring that customers maintain social distancing, a call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat COVID-19 coronavirus.

PM Modi, who announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, invoked the grand epic Ramayana asking people not to cross the Lakshman Rekha by venturing out of their homes and also called for strict social distancing norms at public places.

Although it is a total lockdown, all essential services including ration shops (under PDS) dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain operational. Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs will also remain open during this time period.

Taking PM Modi’s call seriously, shopkeepers have now introduced innovative measures which include drawing of circles and squares outside stores so that customers maintain adequate distance between themselves and avoid overcrowding and thereby curb the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus.

Such measures were seen at shops in Delhi, Gujarat, Puducherry and many other states across the country.

Several people, including police officers and other civil servants, have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to share pictures of such social distancing measures.

Taking a step ahead the Assam Police has also enforced social distancing at tea estates.

Meanwhile, this practice is being followed across the globe to curb the spread the spread of COVID-19 infection.

In India, to help enforce social distancing, several states have banned gatherings under Section 144, with the Prime Minister and various Chief Ministers appealing to people to stay at home.

The Prime Minister himself on Wednesday demonstrated social distancing as he along with his council of ministers were seen sitting at a safe distance of at least two meters during the cabinet meeting.

The total number of Coronavirus cases has crossed 600 in the country with at least 12 deaths. Globally, nearly 19,000 lives have been lost due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

As per the guidelines of the Government, any person violating the containment measures, will be liable to proceed against as per the provisions of Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of IPC.