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Coronavirus outbreak: PM Modi calls for ‘Janta Curfew’ on March 22, forms Economic Response Task Force to combat impact on economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation impressed upon all Indians the need to follow the practice of social distancing and only step out of the house only if very necessary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Thursday talking about issues relating to Coronavirus outbreak and the efforts being undertaken to combat it. At the time when India is grappling the coronavirus fear, the Prime Minister has urged his citizens to follow 2 things: Resolve and Restraint. He has called for a ‘Janta Curfew’ (public curfew) on March 22 (Sunday) from 7 am to 9 pm which he says would mean a curfew imposed by the people on themselves in order to prevent the spread of the disease. “If possible, please call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the ‘Janta Curfew’ as well as the measures to prevent coronavirus,” the prime minister appealed.

The prime minister appealed the public to remain in their homes on Sunday, except those involved in essential services. He said that this will be a strong symbol of duty performed towards the benefit of the nation. PM Modi added that the success and experience of the Janta Curfew on Sunday will help us to prepare for the challenges in the future. This implies that the voluntary curfew will be like a mock drill, to prepare for a situation in future where more drastic measures may be required.

Speaking about the auspicious Navratri festival, which is around the corner, Modi said that as we head towards the nine-day festival, he would like to make nine requests to the citizens. The nine requests broadly being:

  • Citizens should stay careful and avoid going out of their houses for the next few weeks unless inevitable.
  • People older than 60-65 to stay indoors as much as possible.
  • This Sunday, March 22 from 7 am to 5 pm every citizen should follow ‘Janta Curfew’.
  • On March 22 at 5 pm everyone should stand at their balconies/door/windows and either clap or ring a bell and make some sort noise, giving a shout out in respect for the people serving others.
  • Avoid going to hospitals for regular check-ups, postpone non-essential elective surgeries.
  • Employers should not deduct the salaries of the lower-income people working under them.
  • Asks the government to create a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force.
  • Do not indulge in panic buying
  • Asks people to stay informed and not fall for rumours.
The nine requests PM Modi makes on the occasion of Navratri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation impressed upon all Indians the need to follow the practice of social distancing and only step out of the house only if very necessary as he talked about measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Warning the people against ignoring the advice to stay indoors, the prime minister says, “If you feel you are okay and nothing will happen to you, you are wrong.”

“Restrain is compulsory to protect ourselves and remain healthy. I request that for the coming weeks’ people should go out of their homes only if essential,” PM Modi said.

At the time when the fear of a lockdown is driving people to throng supermarkets and stores to buy essential items and hoard in bulk, PM Modi urged everyone to refrain from doing so. Assuring that there will not be a shortage of food, medicines, milk and other supplies, Modi appealed against panic buying. “I appeal to all not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities. Steps being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities,” PM Modi said.

He also advised people against visiting hospitals for regular check-ups. “I request the countrymen to avoid visiting hospitals for routine check-ups. If you have an appointment for any non-essential surgery, please postpone for one month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come to hospitals.”

Modi informed that the government has decided to create a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force to tackle the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on the economy, which will be headed by the finance minister. The task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly, said Modi in his address.

The Finance Minister will hold the first meeting of COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force tomorrow.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation about the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, top sources in the government have clarified that there will not be any announcement of a lockdown. Multiple media reports speculated that the Prime Minister will announce a virtual lockdown of the country, but sources had confirmed that the information was incorrect.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been one of the most proactive Prime Minister in tackling the unprecedented situation created due to the deadly coronavirus spread. He chaired a meeting on Wednesday to review the ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19 and is said to be closely monitoring the situation.

He discussed ways to further strengthen India’s preparedness, including further enhancing of testing facilities, the government said in a statement.

Modi also emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations in efforts to curb the outbreak. He also urged officials and technical experts to deliberate on the steps to be taken next, the statement said.

The number of cases in India rose to 173 Thursday while the death toll rose to 4 after a 72-year-old man died of novel coronavirus infection in Punjab.

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