Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet meeting on the first day of the 21-day lockdown to fight coronavirus demonstrated social distancing. In an image circulated on social media, PM Modi was flanked by ministers who sat a safe distance away, and with enough spacing between each in a long, carpeted hall in the Prime Minister's official residence in Delhi.
The Prime Minister had last evening announced a "total lockdown" across the country, asking people to "forget about stepping out of their homes" for the next three weeks. He explained that this period was necessary to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus, which has taken over 14,000 lives across the world.
He also asserted that social distancing was the biggest way to control the spread of the virus.
"Many think social distancing is only for patients. That is wrong. Social distancing is for everyone, even the Prime Minister," said PM Modi in his half-hour address.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, "Social distancing is the need of the hour. We are ensuring it... Are you?"
Reports suggested the possibility of a video call was discussed but finally, the meeting was held in the conventional way, with post-virus tweaks in the seating arrangement.
There are over 530 coronavirus cases in India. Nine people have died.
The government's challenge, apart from getting people to follow social distancing and self-isolation, is to ensure the supply of essentials like milk, vegetables, medicines.