Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to the 1.3 billion population to follow a one-day curfew alongside a ban on international flight arrivals to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Modi said in an address to the nation that the curfew on Sunday from 7:0 am to 9:00 pm would test the giant country's ability to take tough measures against what he called a growing "crisis".
The measure would be "in the interest of the country to follow and prepare us for future challenges."
Here are 10 key takeaways from PM Modi's speech:
1) The government has decided to constitute COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under Finance Minister. The task force will remain in regular touch with all stakeholders, take their feedback and make decisions accordingly.
2) Till now science has not been able to find a proper remedy for coronavirus and no vaccine has been developed yet. In such a situation, it is natural to worry, said PM.
3) Restrain is compulsory to protect ourselves and remain healthy. Modi requested that for the coming weeks people should go out of their homes only if essential.
4) PM Modi called for 'Janta curfew' on Mar 22 from 7 AM-9 PM, says no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of the house. He also asked the citizens to call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the 'Janta Curfew'.
5) Modi also appealed to all not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities. Steps were being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities.
6) Further, Modi requested the countrymen to avoid visiting hospitals for routine check-ups. If you have an appointment for any non-essential surgery, please postpone for one month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come to hospitals.
7) The government of India has kept a close watch on the track record of the spread of coronavirus, informed Modi.
8) PM requested people above the age of 60 to 65 to not venture out of their homes for the next few weeks.
9) On March 22, at 5:00 pm, Modi has asked everyone at home to salute those who are serving the country.
10) PM Modi hailed doctors, nurses, safai karamcharis, airline employees, government employees, railway-bus employees, home delivery people who are serving other irrespective of their health.