PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the new coronavirus and called for a janta curfew on Sunday
He said that while cases in India appeared on the lower side, it would be a mistake to think that the country is safe from the pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country at 8 pm today. It had earlier been announced that he would talk about issues ‘relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it’. As of March 19, 180 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in the country and four people have lost their lives.
Incorrect to think that coronavirus is not a threat
PM Modi started by acknowledging the difficult time the whole world is going through and said that not even the world wars affected so many people at the same time. He said that while cases in India appeared on the lower side, it would be a mistake to think that the country is safe from the pandemic. In other countries as well, cases first started as a trickle and then increased exponentially.
Modi acknowledged that for a developing country with a large population, coronavirus presents an especially difficult challenge. To combat it, health advisories such as social distancing must be followed as this contributes to lower levels of community transmission.
Stay at home and work from home, if possible
The PM said that in the coming weeks, the country needs to practice restraint. Only those providing essential services, or ones in extenuating circumstances, should leave their homes. Specifically, those over 60 should avoid going out and remain indoors which is where they will be the safest.
He requests the country to observe ‘Janta Curfew’ or people’s curfew on Sunday, March 22. Modi urged everyone to stay indoors between 7 am and 9 pm on this day to show that the country was ready to do the needful to limit the pandemic. Modi urged all those listening to inform at least 10 other people about the curfew so that it is more successfully implemented.
Those involved in providing essential services such as doctors, nurses, police and media would still go to work - as they continuously have been during this difficult time. To commemorate their efforts and acknowledge their indispensable contribution to the country, the public is requested to clap their hands and ring bells from their balconies or windows at 5 pm on Sunday, March 22.
Further, high-income families and those employing other people were urged to not cut salaries and dissuaded against layoffs.
Do not panic buy, and do not inundate hospitals
He also said that at times like these, the medical and public health infrastructure is stretched - so it is advisable to not visit your doctor for routine checkups in the immediate future. Unless it is an emergency, do not visit hospitals. If you can, contact your family physician on the phone for guidance instead. Visiting hospitals right now may expose you to other infections.
The PM said that activities such as hoarding and bulk buying put a strain on the supply of essential commodities and makes them harder to procure for those who need them. He assured that there will be no shortage of essentials to ease the fears of the public and to discourage hoarding.
Under the leadership of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, a COVID-19 economic recovery task force will be instituted to help combat the economic fallout of the pandemic.
The PM closed by urging solidarity and determination in navigating the challenging times ahead.
For more tips, read our article on Coronavirus Infection: Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment.
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