Heeding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a “Janta Curfew”, Indians chose to stay indoors on Sunday even as the number of Corona affected people in the country crossed the 315 mark.
The unprecedented shutdown that started at 7 am will last until 9 pm. The initiative was taken in view of the pandemic, which has taken a toll over the world. In his appeal to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to voluntarily stay indoors to contain the spread of coronavirus. To this cause, public transport will be suspended or curtailed and all markets and establishments except those dealing in essential goods and services will be closed today. No passenger train will originate from any railway station in the country from midnight to 10 pm on Sunday while all suburban train services will be reduced to a bare minimum as well.
Metro services, including in Delhi, will remain suspended for the day.
Air carriers like GoAir, IndiGo and, Vistara have announced that they will be curtailing domestic operations on Sunday.
Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that they will keep their establishments shut across the country Sunday.
Cutting across party lines, chief ministers and others leaders urged the people to follow the self-imposed curfew , noting that “social distancing” was key to breaking the chain of transmission.
PM Modi himself followed up his Thursday address to the nation with a series of tweets in which he reiterated his call. Shortly before 7 am Sunday, he tweeted that the daylong stay-at-home for millions of Indians would “add tremendous strength to the fight” against coronavirus or COVID-19.
“In a few minutes from now, the #JantaCurfew commences. Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against COVID-19 menace. The steps we take now will help in the times to come. Stay indoors and stay healthy.,” PM Modi tweeted.
The unprecedented nationwide 14 hour “shutdown ” is expected to be the first in a series of steps that the governmment plans to trake to tackle the deadly virus. Even the administration, in the Centre, across states, districts, and local bodies would be required to prepare themselves for a complete lockdown in case any of the districts have a situation like in some of the other countries like Italy. This curfew would allow the administration and other relevant authorities to have a ‘dress rehearsal’ and to make amendments to their processes to prepare for a potential lockdown in the future.