New Delhi: In wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has also affected India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the people of the country to opt for a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In a special address to the nation, Modi said: "Today I am requesting the people of the country for a Janata curfew, on March 22, this Sunday, from between 7 a.m to 9 p.m.
"...This is public curfew. Janata curfew means for the public, curfew imposed on public by themselves."
He urged people to follow this 'curfew', not go out on the streets or even gather in their societies and stay inside their homes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi further urged people above the age of 60 should avoid going out in the coming weeks.
Sharing an instance from the past, he said: "Might be the present generation is not aware... when there were a situation of war, and villages were blacked out and the glass of the windows was darkened. People use to take precautions and even in case there was no war, the local administration carried out a drill regularly."
The Prime Minister also urged the people to follow the instructions issued by the state governments.
"Today everyone has to take a resolve to not get infected by the Covid-19 and also save others from getting Covid-19. In such a pandemic case, only one mantra works, if we are healthy, then the entire world is healthy," he said.
At a time when there is no medicine have been made for the disease, the only thing to stay safe is restraint, he said. "Don't go in the crowds, avoid going out and what today is being called social distancing in the era of Covid-19 is very useful," he said.
"Our resolve and restraint is going to play very important role in fighting Covid-19."
The Prime Minister also said that if one thinks that by roaming on the streets is safe, then it is not good. "By doing so you will do injustice to your near ones. I urge the people of the country for coming weeks, whenever it is very necessary then only come out," he added.
The Centre has formed a COVID-19 economic response taskforce, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.
Accordingly, the task force will be led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Modi said that the task force will assess the requirements of various sectors and also oversee implementation of the measures proposed.
The decision comes after a severe impact on several sectors including aviation, hospitality and tourism along with the overall economy.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister also assured availability of essential items and services, including medicines, health care, milk and food.
He also urged the citizens to avoid panic buying and not to hoard any essential items.
India on Thursday registered 22 fresh cases of Covid-19 taking the total number of affected persons to 173. At least four people have died, one each from Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra.