As the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic , Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation. He made a fervent appeal to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.
He called for ‘Janta curfew’ on March 22 between 7 am and 9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of house.
“Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done,” Mr. Modi said in a national broadcast. Asking people to sacrifice “some weeks of yours, some time of yours”, Modi said given that coronavirus has no cure yet, the only way to stay safe is to stay indoors.
“I request all people in country to get out of house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home,” he said.
The Prime Minister also wanted the nation to applaud at 5 pm on March 22 the selfless work of essential services personnel.
Also read: Coronavirus live updates
The next 15 days are important in stopping the spread of the disease and the Prime Minister made a fervent appeal to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.
Here are the live updates:
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Congress and its workers will stand with government in its endeavour to fight coronavirus, says AICC leader Ajay Maken.
Nadda asks BJP workers to help implement Modi's suggestions
“I want to assure PM that party workers will play positive role and stand with people in fight against coronavirus,” says BJP chief J.P. Nadda. “I appeal to all party workers to help in implementing suggestions made by PM Narendra Modi in fighting coronavirus.”
Modi advocates determination, patience
This natural calamity has affected the whole world. In the last two months, we have been hearing concerning news from around the world.
Even WW I and II did not involve as many countries as Corona Virus has done.
I have come here to demand something for you.
I want your time.
Science has not been able to find a treatment or vaccine for coronavirus. In such a situation, concern is natural.
In the worst-hit countries, there has been a sudden explosion after the initial few days.
Some countries have taken decisive steps, and have managed the situation by carrying out isolation. The citizens' contribution has been important for this.
As citizens we must resolve that we will perform our duty and follow the directions of the central government. We will avoid being infected and save others from being infected.
Social distancing is paramount to tackle this situation. To not follow these guidelines would be an injustice to your family and loved ones. Leave your house only if it is essential.
Senior citizens above 60 should stay at home.
In the past, during situations of war, villages and towns were blacked out and people used to be on a vigil. I urge each citizen to abide by a 'citizen-curfew'- a curfew by the citizens, for the citizens. Starting March 22, from 7 am to 9 pm, everyone should stay at home, except for people in the essential services.
The success of the curfew will prepare us for future challenges.
All community and religious organisations should guide the people in following this curfew.
This citizen curfew will tell us how prepared we are to deal with this pandemic.
In the last two months, lakhs of people in hospitals, airports, delivery services have been serving others selflessly by not taking care of themselves.
On March 22, Sunday, 5 p.m., we will stand at our doors and windows thank them for 5 minutes, by clinking plates, spoons, and ringing bells.
We need to ensure that the burden on our paramedical staff, medical services is not increased. Avoid going to hospitals for routine check-ups. If it is unavoidable, go to your family doctor or consult them over phone.
If you have a surgery scheduled, I urge you to postpone it.
Centre to constitute COVID-19 Economic Task Force
This pandemic is also affecting the economy. Under the Finance Minister, the Centre has planned to constitute a COVID-19 Economic Task Force. The task force will ensure that steps taken to fight economic troubles amid the pandemic are successful.
In these troubled times, I urge people to also care about people working on daily wages. They too have families to sustain.
I also advise you to not go into panic buying of essentials.
I am confident that in future, we as citizens will continue abiding by our duties.
We need to stand together, help each other, and fight this epidemic.
I hope India emerges as a winner from this calamity.
Full text of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on coronavirus pandemic:
My Dear Countrymen
The entire world is passing through a grave situation
Generally, whenever there is natural crisis, it is limited to a few countries or states
But, this crisis has engulfed the entire human race
Even during the first and second World wars, the number of countries affected were not as many as the number affected by the Coronavirus
For the last two months, we have been watching with concern, the news about Coronavirus spreading all across the world
In these two months, 130 crore Indians have resolutely confronted the Corona pandemic and taken the necessary precautions
But, in the last few days, a feeling has crept in that we are safe and everything is okay
But, this complacency in the face of this global pandemic is not correct
Friends, Therefore, it is very essential that every Indian is alert and aware
Whenever I have asked something from you, you have never disappointed me
It is the power of your blessings that our efforts are successful
Today, I am here to ask for something from my countrymen
I need your coming few weeks and also your time
Friends, Till now, the science has not been able to find a proper remedy to save us from Corona pandemic and no vaccine has been made for it
In this situation, it is quite natural that our worries are increasing
In the countries where the menace of the Coronavirus is more, a new fact has emerged from the studies
In these countries, after the initial phase, there has been a sudden spurt in infection
In these countries, the number of people infected with Corona rapidly increased suddenly
The Government of India is keeping a close vigil on the track record of the spread of Coronavirus
There are some countries which took immediate decision and contained the number of infections by isolating people
For a developing country like India with 130 crore population, the growing challenge of Coronavirus is not a normal situation
Today, when we are witnessing extensive impact of Corona pandemic in developed countries, it will be wrong to assume that it will have no impact on India
Therefore, there is a need to follow two important things to fight this pandemic
First – Resolve, and, Second – Restraint
Today, our 130 crore countrymen have to show resolve and determination to fight this pandemic as a citizen by performing duties and following the directions of the central and state government
Today, we have to take a resolve that we shall protect ourselves from getting infected and will also save others from getting infected
During such pandemic, only one mantra works –“World is healthy, when we are healthy”
In such situation, when there is no medicine for this disease, it is very essential for us to remain healthy
Restraint is compulsory to protect ourselves and remain healthy
And, what is the best way to maintain restraint –avoid crowds and stay at home
Today, what is known as social distancing, is very necessary in the present phase of Corona pandemic
Our resolve and restraint is going to play a vital role in reducing the effect of this pandemic
And therefore, if you feel that you are okay and nothing is going to happen to you and - you will keep roaming in the markets, on the streets, and will be safe from Corona -is not a right approach
By doing this, you will be doing injustice to yourself and your family
Therefore, this is my request to my countrymen that for coming weeks, they should go out of their homes only if essential
As much as possible, you should do your work from home, whether related to business or office
Those who are in Government services, hospitals, peoples representatives, media persons, it is necessary for them to be active
But, the remaining members of society should isolate themselves
I have another request that the senior citizens above 60 to 65 years of age in our families, should stay at home for coming few weeks
Today’s generation will not be very familiar with this but in olden times, in a war like situation, there used to be blackout at nights
Sometimes, this continued for a long time
Several times there used to be a drill for blackouts
Today, I am also asking for another support from each countryman
This is “Janata Curfew”
“Janata Curfew” means a curfew for the public and by the public
This Sunday, i.e., 22 March, from 7 am to 9 pm, all countrymen have to follow “Janata Curfew”
During this period, neither we will come out of homes nor on streets nor anywhere in the vicinity
Only people related to essential services will come out of their homes on 22 March
On 22 March, this effort of ours will be a symbol of our self-restraint and a resolve of our duties in national interest
Success of Janata Curfew on 22 March, its experience will prepare us for the future challenges
I will also request to the state governments to lead the observance of Janata Curfew
I will also request the youth associated to NCC, NSS, every young man of the country, civil society, all kinds of associations to make people aware for next two days on Janata Curfew
If possible, everyone should call at least ten people every day to make them aware about Coronavirus and Janata Curfew
In a way, this Janata Curfew will be like a testing time for India
This is also the time to see, how prepared is India to fight the menace of a pandemic like Corona
Amidst your these efforts, on 22 March, the day of Janata Curfew, I am asking for your another cooperation
Since last two months, millions of people are working day and night in hospitals and airports
Be it people from field of doctors, nurses, hospital staff, housekeeping staff, airlines staff, government servants, police personnel, media persons, railways, bus, auto-rickshaw, home delivery people, they are serving others, by not taking care of themselves
If you look at the present situation, it cannot be called a normal one
Today, they themselves are in danger of getting infected
In spite of this, they are doing their duties, serving others
They are standing between Corona and the countrymen like protectors of the nation
The country is obliged to them
On 22 March, I want all of us to thank all these people
Sharp at 5PM on 22 March, we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in front of our windows and keep clapping hands and plates, ringing the bellsfor five minutes to salute and encourage them
I also request to the local administration of the entire country that at 5 PM on 22 March, they should blow siren to inform people
For our countrymen, who believe in the service above self will have to express our feelings with full gratitude
We should also keep in mind that in this time of crisis, the pressure is continuously increasing on our essential services and hospitals
Therefore, I request you all to avoid going to hospitals for a routine check-up
If you find it very necessary, then take advice on phone from any doctor you know or your family doctor or any doctor in your relation
If you have taken an appointment for Elective Surgery, my request is to postpone it for a month , if it is not an emergency
This pandemic has also severely affected the economy
Keeping in mind the economic challenges posed by the Corona Pandemic, it has been decided to create a Covid 19 Economic Response Task Force headed by the Finance Minister
This Task Force will be in constant contact with all the stakeholders, take their feedback and after analyzing the situation, take necessary decisions in the near future
The Task Force will also ensure that all the decisions, taken to tide over the economic crisis, are effectively implemented
This pandemic has greatly impacted the economic well being of the middle, lower middle and poor sections of society
In this time of crisis I appeal to the business community and the high income sections of society to be sensitive towards the economic interests of all those whose services you take
It is possible that in coming few days, these people may not be able to attend office or to your homes
In this situation, please do not cut their wages, decide humanely, sensitively
Always remember, they also have families to feed and protect from disease
I also assure countrymen that all steps are being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities such as milk, food items, medicine
I appeal to countrymen not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities
Do normal buying, not panic buying
In the past two months, 130 crore Indians, every citizen, has taken this crisis as their own and have contributed for India and society with all their ability
I am confident that in coming days also, you will continue to perform your duties and responsibility in the same manner
I know that in these times, some difficulties do arise, atmosphere of apprehension and rumors also develops
Many a time our expectations as citizens also remain unfulfilled
Still, this crisis is so grave that despite these difficulties we must face this crisis with firm determination
Right now we have to focus all our energies towards protecting ourselves from Corona
Today , be it the Central Government, state governments, local bodies, Panchayats , people’s representatives, everyone is contributing towards fighting this global pandemic in their own way
You too have to give your full contribution
It is essential that in the fight against this global pandemic, human race emerges victorious, India emerges victorious
In a few days the festival of Navratri will come
It is the festival of worship of `Shakti’
India marches ahead with all its might, that is my wish
Many Many Thanks