Ministers Meet on COVID-19, Many Ask ‘What About Social Distance?’

As the number of coronavirus cases in India drew closer to 1,000 – with at least 25 deaths reported so far – a high-level meeting of Union Ministers to tackle the outbreak was held at the residence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday, 29 March, with Home Minister Amit Shah and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar in attendance, among others.

Visuals from the meeting showed its participants seated next to each other around a conference table. But Twitter users didn’t miss a beat, quickly pointing out that the social distancing rule was not being followed by the gathered leaders.

Social distancing has been cited as a key measure to contain the spread of coronavirus across the world. The Centers for Disease Control in the United States defines social distancing as "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance" whenever possible. The WHO has recommended maintaining at least a 1-metre (3-foot) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

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On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet was seen practising social distancing as a precautionary measure while holding a meeting. A photo shared on Twitter by Home Minister Amit Shah had showed the Cabinet ministers seated far away from each other while conducting a meeting with PM Narendra Modi.

At the meeting on Sunday, the ministers reviewed all issues related to COVID-19, including maintaining supply chains of essential commodities like food, medicine, energy product, etc, government sources cited by ANI said... but seemed to have forgotten the social distancing part.

"It was decided that migrants will be provided temporary shelters to stay. Feedback from various ministries and departments was also shared during the meeting," the government sources added.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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