Coronavirus crisis: Follow 'janata curfew' on Sunday, urges Narendra Modi
Addressing the nation on the coronavirus pandemic today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the entire world is crippled and Indians should remain alert. Saying that staying indoors is extremely essential, PM Modi urged citizens to follow what he called a janata curfew on Sunday. Between 7 am and 9 pm, don't step out of your homes, he said in the address. Here's more.
PM Modi said Indians have never disappointed whenever he came to them seeking help. "I want some weeks from you," PM Modi said, underlining that no vaccine of the deadly COVID-19 disease is available. He pointed out that in some nations a huge spike was seen in the death toll, and sweeping measures were taken by their respective governments.
He said Indians should take the pledge that they will follow all the rules applied by the state governments and Centre. Indians should promise they will isolate and protect themselves. They should also maintain social distancing and be patient, he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Resolution and restraint is very important in combat against this global epidemic. As citizens, people need to strengthen their resolve to follow the advisories issues by state and central governments to fight #coronavirus. https://t.co/vU7VeaEDWq— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2020
He noted that health officials, deliverymen, and others were working round-the-clock to make our lives easier during these trying times. "So, on Sunday, we should appreciate their hard work by clapping or ringing bells at 5 pm," he said. He asked all citizens to express their gratitude. To not put pressure on an already strained healthcare system, he said people should avoid routine check-ups.
Assuring that there will be no shortage of food, he added, "Do not hoard food and other items — we are taking steps to ensure no shortage." He said a COVID-19 task force has been formed under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PM Modi also asked businesses to pay salaries to workers, even if they don't show up at work for days.
Meanwhile, taking a cue from other nations, the Indian government announced earlier today that no foreign flights will land in the nation starting Sunday, for one week. Railways and airlines were directed to suspend all concessional travel. Only students, patients and persons with disabilities have been exempted. The private sector has been suggested to make work from home mandatory for employees.
Since it emerged in China in mid-December, the coronavirus has killed over 8,000 lives and affected over 2 lakh. After China, the worst-affected nation is Italy, where the death toll recorded its biggest ever surge with 500 people dying on Wednesday. Countries like Spain, Iran, UK, and the US are also suffering. With no vaccine in sight, WHO has asked everyone to take precautions.