The Chattogram District Administration today adopted a novel measure to help people practise social distancing in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, painting circles one metre apart in local markets of three upazilas.
On the first day of a 10-day closure announced by the government to contain the spread of the virus, shopping malls and shops across the country remained closed, with only pharmacies and stores selling essential items open for business.
The circles -- mainly white and pink -- were painted in front of pharmacies, grocery stores and even in kitchen markets of the Hathazari, Sitakunda and Raozan upazilas. People were asked by the shop owners to stand inside the circles while buying the essential items.
The upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) said they took the initiative as per the direction of Chattogram's Deputy Commissioner (DC) Elias Hosssain.
Confirming the development, Jonayed Kabir Sohag, UNO of Raozan Upazila said, "As per the direction from Chattogram DC, we have initiated it and are getting a good response from the people.
"We are making the circle so that, people can maintain distance from each other and avoid crowding."
Shop owners are asking the public to stand on the circle before buying, he added.
The officials also said that people have been following the directive and standing on the marks while buying.
"We have done the marks in three local bazars, including Kagatia bazar and Raozan municipality market, and asked the public to stand on the circle before buying," he added.