New Delhi: Apart from the people’s curfew on Mar. 22, there were nine calls to action in the Prime Minister’s address including the formation of a COVID-19 Task Force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Addressing the nation yesterday at 8 pm that was telecast live on televisions, Modi urged Indians across the country to face the Coronavirus pandemic with collective determination and patience, to make sure that “humanity and India prevails”. He also announced the setting up of the COVID-19 Task Force for measures to mitigate some of the economic hardships engendered by the pandemic.
Nine calls to action
There were nine calls to action in Prime Minister Modi’s address including a self-imposed ‘Janata Curfew’ (people’s curfew) on Mar. 22, not to resort to panic buying, asking senior citizens to stay indoors, social distancing, avoiding elective surgery or routine health check-ups to not over burden health services, asking employers to pay employees in full when they have to stay home and to stay away from rumours.
The pandemic, the Prime Minister said, was a serious, global crisis, “involving more countries than any previous natural or political crisis, even during World War I or World War II”. Modi said as there was no clear treatment, medicine or vaccine that had been found to counter the Novel Coronavirus, it was incumbent on people to observe escalation via social distancing.
He asked all Indians, as a sign of their collective determination to observe a voluntary people’s curfew between 7 am and 9 pm on Mar. 22. This, he said, should be observed and implemented by the people themselves, to not stir out of their houses.
He also asked that on Mar. 22, at 5 pm, people should step out on their balconies, verandahs or doorways and express their appreciation for personnel, who Modi said “were our bulwark, till now against the pandemic,” employed in hospitals, airports, railways, Police and other essential services, by clapping or beating thalis (metal plates) from within their houses.
Modi urged people to give up the attitude that all was well or that they would, somehow, escape the disease. “Since there is no firm treatment available for this virus, social distancing is the only thing to do. Therefore, give me a few weeks, and avoid going out unless it is strictly necessary,” he urged.
The Prime Minister reiterated that enough supplies of necessities were available and he assured people that there was no situation where this would not be so. “Therefore, I urge all of you to avoid panic buying and buy only as much as you would normally do,” he said.
Appeal to employers
“This pandemic will hit our middle and lower middle class and our poor economically,” he said, appealing to industrialists and employers to ensure that salaries of employees is not cut due to temporary shutting down of businesses and to take a “humane view” of things.
Modi also asked people to desist from routine check-ups and elective surgeries as hospitals would get overloaded. “I urge you all that if you have a check up scheduled, please postpone it for a few days or try and get advice over the phone. Please postpone elective surgeries too,” he said.
What is Janata Curfew: Here is how it will work
PM Modi urged all the citizens of the country to stay off the roads and public places on Sunday (Mar. 22)
The Janata Curfew on Sunday will start at 7 am and continue till 9 pm.
People working in essential services such as Police, medical services, media, home delivery, fire fighting and those serving the nation, etc. will not need to take part in the Janata Curfew.
At 5 pm, all the citizens are requested by the PM to encourage the people working in essential services, in the times of Coronavirus pandemic, by standing in their doorways and clapping and ringing bells as a mark of appreciation and gratitude.