Narendra Modi
Last time Modi addressed the nation was on March 24 when he announced a complete lockdown in the country | File Photo

‘Not normal situation’: Modi appeals for ‘janata curfew’ for coronavirus

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the coronavirus outbreak is not a normal situation for a developing country with a huge population like India. Given the situation, he appealed to the citizens of India to follow 'janata curfew' (public curfew) to prevent being infected with the coronavirus.

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The situation in India due to the coronavirus outbreak is not normal, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (March 19) as he appealed to the citizens to follow ‘janata curfew’ (public curfew) to prevent being infected with the coronavirus.

Addressing the citizens on the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister said it’s not right to believe that Indians are safe from coronavirus and urged everyone to be aware and alert.

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“For a developing country like ours with a large population, the growing challenge of Coronavirus is not a normal situation… For the last few days, it looks like if we are safe from #coronavirus. This belief is not right. Hence, it is very important for every Indian to remain aware and alert,” said the prime minister.

The prime minister also appealed to the citizens to follow ‘janata curfew’ from 7 am till 9 pm on March 22. “If possible, please call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the ‘janata curfew’ as well as the measures to prevent coronavirus,” he said.

Modi urged the citizens to postpone their elective surgeries by a month and to avoid routine check-ups to ease pressure on health services. “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 a month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come on hospitals,” he added.

He also appealed to people to not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities, adding that steps are being taken to ensure there is no scarcity of essential commodities in the country.

Stating that the government is keeping a close watch on the spread of the virus, Modi said, “Resolution and restraint are very important in combat against this global epidemic. As citizens, people need to strengthen their resolve to follow the advisories issued by state and central governments to fight the coronavirus.”

The prime minister said the coronavirus crisis has engulfed the entire human race and that science has not been able to find a remedy for the infections. “Till now, science has not been able to find a proper remedy for #coronavirus and no vaccine has been developed yet. In such a situation, it is natural to worry,” he said.

Related news: India bans all international passenger flights from March 22 to 29

The Indian government has decided to constitute COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under the Finance Minister, said the prime minister. The task force, he said, will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.

Prime Minister Modi also praised those at the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus, and appealed to all to salute them by clapping hands at 5 pm on Sunday (March 22).

“For last two months, millions are working day and night in hospitals and airports, and those serving others by not taking care of themselves. On March 22, at 5’o clock, we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in our windows and keep clapping hands, ringing the bells for five minutes to salute and encourage them,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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