Coronavirus: Delhi to Mumbai, cities deserted as Janata Curfew begins
Several cities across the nation bore a deserted look on Sunday morning as people observed the self-imposed 'Janata Curfew'. From Delhi to Mumbai, the streets remained vacant and shops remained closed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for the curfew on Thursday in a bid to limit the coronavirus outbreak. Thus far, 324 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India.
Let us all be part of this curfew, says Modi
Addressing the nation earlier on Sunday, PM Modi said, "In a few minutes from now, the #JantaCurfew commences. Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against COVID-19 menace." He added, "The steps we take now will help in the times to come. Stay indoors and stay healthy. #IndiaFightsCorona"
You can view Modi's tweet here
Janata Curfew to last until 9 pm
The Janata Curfew is a 14-hour curfew that started at 7 am and will last until 9 pm. Although the curfew is self-imposed (not enforced by the law), assembly of more than four persons is barred across many states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, etc., where Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been imposed in the wake of the outbreak
Trains, flights suspended during curfew
No passenger trains will run till 10 pm across India. Air carriers such as IndiGo, GoAir, and Vistara have canceled domestic flights during the curfew. Traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will also keep its establishments closed. Several states have already shut schools, malls, movie theaters, gymnasiums, pubs, etc. Religious prayers involving large gatherings, including Sunday mass, have been suspended.
Emergency services to remain operational; pharmacies, grocery stores exempt
During the curfew, emergency services such as fire, ambulance, and hospitals will be operational. Pharmacies and grocery stores have been exempt from the curfew. The curfew also does not apply to people working for essential services. App-based taxi services Uber and Ola will operate with limited cabs for essential travel. In Delhi, 50% of buses will continue to ply on roads.
Autos, taxis to remain off Delhi streets; metro shut
With the Delhi Metro closed, metro stations across the national capital were deserted. Autos and taxis are also off the streets with several unions participating in the voluntary curfew. In Kolkata, too, 600 private buses and 10,000 kaali-peeli taxis will remain off the streets as some unions have joined the curfew. A hoarding at Chennai's Marina Beach said that the beach will remain closed.
Delhi police request locals to stay home; offer flowers
Mumbai Metro, Monorail, MSRTC buses not operational
The Mumbai Metro and Mumbai Monorail will remain shut. MSRTC inter-State buses will remain suspended for the day. Local trains on the Central line will see 60% services, reduced from the normal 70% on Sundays. BEST buses will run as per their holiday schedule.
Visuals from Dadar railway station
How bad is the outbreak in India?
According to the Health Ministry, the number of coronavirus cases across India rose to 324, including 41 foreigners. Out of these, 23 patients have been discharged post-recovery and one has migrated. At 63, Maharashtra records the most number of cases. The disease has also caused five deaths: four Indian nationals in Kalaburagi, Delhi, Mumbai and Pathlawa village (Punjab), and one Italian tourist in Jaipur
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 was first reported in China's Wuhan city in December 2019. The disease is caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus attacks a host's respiratory system triggering symptoms such as fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it may cause pneumonia, multiple organ failure, or death. COVID-19 has spread to at least 150 countries, killing over 13,000 and sickening 3 lakh.