With a population of over 1.3 billion and panic amongst people around the topic, the coronavirus-induced social distancing norms have been hard for some in India. While we thought that the entire country entering into a lockdown following a rather somber announcement from Prime Minister Modi would turn the tables and people will practise social distancing diligently, not everyone appears to have received the memo.
From politicians to ordinary citizens, social distancing is being implemented everywhere now. However, people in several places refuse to understand the importance of it.
A local vegetable market in Ludhiana witnessed heavy crowd on Monday amid the nationwide lockdown as the norms have been relaxed in Punjab and Haryana between 10 am and 6 am. However, people have been strictly directed to maintain physical distance from each other.
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Sunday stamped relaxations granted by the Chandigarh administration daily for eight hours amidst the curfew to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) against the decision to open shops in the city for some duration, the court through video conference observed it was a policy matter.
At the same time, a bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and R.K. Jain asked the authorities to observe a physical distance and its parameters while providing essential items.
Also, the administration was asked to monitor and regulate the process by taking stringent action against the violators.
The administration's order of March 27 to relax curfew was valid and issued in larger public interest and the scope of judicial interference in a policy matter was very limited, the court observed.
The decision to daily open all essential item shops from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of V.P. Singh Badnore, Governor, Punjab and Administrator, Chandigarh, on March 27.
After two days of hiatus, one more patient in Punjab was tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, taking the total count to 39 with two deaths, both elderly, officials said.