Modi calls for ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday
NEW DELHI, Mar 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addresses the nation on the coronavirus crisis on Thursday evening, called for a "Janata curfew" on Sunday, saying all citizens must stay home from 7 am to 9 pm to try and check the spread of the deadly virus. The Prime Minister also cautioned citizens against hoarding and panic-buying, assuring that the supply of essentials like milk, medicines and food would
"Under this Janata (public) curfew, no one should leave their home or gather in their neighbourhoods. Only those related to essential services should go out," said the Prime Minister, adding that all citizens must abide by it.
"On that day, at 5 pm, we will stand at our balconies, windows or doors for 5 minutes, we will show our gratitude to those maintaining essential services by ringing bells, sounding sirens and clapping...," he said.
The Prime Minister suggested that the one-day exercise would help inculcate a new discipline for social distancing for the next few weeks.
He urged people to stay home unless absolutely essential, in the next few weeks, and act with "restraint and resolve".
"I want the next few weeks from you, I want your time," he said, stressing on the need to avoid what he called a sudden explosion of the outbreak, after the first few days, in other nations.
"Coronavirus has endangered humanity. It has affected more nations than the World War," he said.
"There is no cure for this, so we need to remain healthy. We need to avoid crowds and stay home. Social distancing is critical. If you think you can roam around as usual and feel you will not be at risk, this is incorrect; you are endangering yourself and your family."
Coronavirus cases in India climbed to 173 on Thursday after 18 new cases were reported. Four people have died.
"I want to reassure that all steps are being taken to ensure that the supply of milk, medicines and food does not stop. Do not hoard, be sensitive towards the need of others," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the government announced a new set of restrictions, banning international flights from Sunday for a week.