Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the people of the country to follow a Janta Curfew on Sunday (March 22) in fighting coronavirus pandemic. Cautioning people against any complacency in dealing with Covid-19, PM Modi also laid emphasis on individual determination and restraint through social distancing in his 30-minute address to the nation.
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“Today, I am seeking one more support from every citizen. It is Janta Curfew – a curfew for the people and imposed by people themselves,” he said.
The Janta Curfew will be in place for 14 hours – from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday. The Prime Minister asked people to stay off the roads and public places during this period. He, however, clarified that esential services like police, media, medical services etc will not come under the purview of the curfew.
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“Our this effort on March 22 will be a symbol of our restraint and following our duty in the interest of the nation. The success of Janta Curfew, its experience will prepare us for future challenges,” said PM Modi.
He also said that every person should try and phone 10 other people to inform them of Janta Curfew and ways to protect oneself from coronavirus.
Seeking one more cooperation, the Prime Minister asked people to express their gratitude to lakhs of people working at airports, hospitals and performing duties related to transportation and sanitation during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I want that on March 22, we express our gratitude to them. At 5 pm on Sunday, we should stand on doors, balconies, windows of our homes and express our gratitude for five minutes,” he said, adding that people can do so by clapping or ringing bells.
The Janta Curfew announcement was widely hailed by the people. Many Bollywood actors made a fervent appeal to their fans to heed the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Even the Opposition Congress welcomed the announcement, and said it will support the initiative. “I welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to solidarity at this challenging time. Will support “Janta Curfew” while conscious that Sunday is the easiest day to try it. Need more reinforcement of social distancing (incl suspending Parliament) and specific economic relief measures,” Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Twitter.