PM calls for ‘Janta curfew’ on Mar 22

PM calls for ‘Janta curfew’ on Mar 22
Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI, MAR 19 | Publish Date: 3/19/2020 12:29:24 PM IST

 Appeals to all for resolve, restraint to fight Covid-19

Calling for “resolve and restraint” to fight coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked the entire country to observe ‘Janta curfew’ on Sunday.
Pitching for “social distancing”, Modi called for ‘Janta curfew’ on March 22 from 7 am-9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their house, and asserted that it will be a litmus test to show how much India is ready to take on the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.  This experience will serve the nation well, he added. 
“During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes, nor get onto the streets and refrain from roaming about in our societies or areas. Only those associated with emergency and essential services may leave their homes,” he said.
Lauding the hard work of medical professionals, sanitation staff, airline crews, delivery persons and media personnel among others, Modi asked people to express gratitude to them by giving them a five-minute standing ovation at 5pm on Sunday by clapping hands, beating plates or ringing out bells.
In a nearly 30-minute national broadcast, he asked people to stay indoors and work from home as much as possible while underscoring the dangers of coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a crisis as grave as this.
“Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done,” Modi said, asking people to avoid this mindset that the disease will not affect India much when it has hit hard many developed countries. Modi also said “panic-buying” must be avoided and essential things, including medicines, should not be hoarded, adding his government is working to ensure their supply.   
He further announced the setting up of a ‘Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force’, headed by Union Finance minister, to decide on relief package for sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Modi began his address by highlighting the scale of corornavirus’ impact and noted that there is a view that India has averted the crisis and all is well.
“This mindset is not correct. Complacency in respect of a global pandemic like coronavirus is not appropriate. It is essential that each and every Indian remains alert and cautious,” he said and asked a few weeks from the countrymen. Studies of countries hit by the pandemic have revealed that it exploded after a few days, and the number of people infected by it grew at a very rapid pace.
A cure or vaccine for coronavirus has not been found yet, Modi said, adding that a few countries have controlled the situation by taking quick decisions and by isolating more and more people.“I appeal to you that for the next few weeks, step out of your homes only if absolutely necessary. As far as possible, try and do all your work, whether related to business or job, from home. Senior citizens, those above 60-65 years of age, should not leave their homes over the next few weeks,” Modi said. He asked people to follow the directives government to combat coronavirus. 
He said the pandemic is “deeply hurting” the economic interests and well-being of India’s middle class, lower-middle class, and poor segments.
“In such a time of crisis, I request the business world and high income segments of society to as much as possible, look after the economic interests of all the people who provide them services,” he said.
Modi pointed out that in few days it is possible these people may not be able to come to office or people’s homes. He also urged youth, organisations like NCC, NSS, civil society to spread awareness about this people’s curfew over the next two days.

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