Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 19 called for a ‘Janta Curfew’, as he addressed the nation on measures to fight coronavirus. The PM, “I am requesting your support for ‘Janta Curfew’. The curfew will be in place from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday, March 22,”.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2020
He stated that, no citizen, barring those in essential services, should step out of the house during the ‘Janta Curfew’. The PM also urged the citizens to stay indoors as much as possible, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.
“Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done,” He added. 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.
Despite this, “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 asserted. ‘COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force’ set-up to meet economic challenges of the pandemic.
Full Text of PM on combating COVID-19
Prime Minister urged citizens to follow the mantra of “when we are healthy, the world is healthy”. He stressed on the importance of following self imposed norms like ‘social distancing’. Requesting citizens to patiently abide by the norm, he urged the need to isolate oneself and come out of the house only if imperative, while trying to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel. He also urged that senior citizens above the age of 60 should not come out of their homes for the coming few weeks. Highlighting the stress on the hospitals, he urged everyone to avoid routine check ups during this time and to extend the date of surgeries scheduled, wherever feasible.
Prime Minister urged citizens to follow the concept of ‘Janta Curfew’ on 22 March, 2020 from 7 AM to 9 PM, wherein no one apart from those involved with essential services is supposed to venture out of home. He said that the success of such a people’s movement and the experiences gained from it will prepare us for the challenges ahead. He added that our efforts on March 22, would be a symbol of our self restraint and determination to perform duty in the national interest.
Urging the state governments to take the lead, Prime Minister asked all youth organizations including NCC and NSS, civil societies to generate awareness among people about the ‘Janta Curfew’. He urged everyone to try to inform at least ten other people over phone about this self imposed curfew.
Thanking the selfless service providers
Prime Minister said that there are many brave people who are in the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic like medical staff, police, government servants, airline staff, media persons, bus/train/auto operators and those involved in providing home delivery.
To pay respects to their huge service to the nation during such trying times, Prime Minister suggested that on March 22 at 5 PM, all citizens should acknowledge and salute their efforts by standing in the balconies and at the doors of their houses and clap or ring bells for five minutes as a show of appreciation. He urged the local government across the country to indicate the timing through blaring out a siren at 5 PM.
Meeting the Economic Challenges
To deal with the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, Prime Minister announced the creation of ‘COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force’ under the Union Finance Minister. The Task Force will consult stakeholders, take feedback, on the basis of which decisions will be taken to meet the challenges. The Task Force will also ensure implementation of the decisions taken to meet these challenges.
Prime Minister also urged the business community and higher income groups to look after the economic needs of those from lower income groups, from whom they take various services, urging them not to cut their salary on the days they are unable to render the services due to inability to come to the workplace. He stressed on the importance of humanity during such times. He also assured the countrymen that there would not be any shortage of essential items like food, milk, medicines etc.
He urged people to not resort to panic buying. Prime Minister exhorted everyone to work together and contribute fully to overcome the crisis of COVID-19. He urged the citizens not to fall prey to misinformation. Prime Minister said that during the time of such a global pandemic, it is important to ensure that ‘humanity wins and India wins’.