PM Modi urges India to hold ‘Janta Curfew’ for a day, doctors ask for a longer lockdown
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi urged Indian public to hold one day lockdown on March 22. He called it ‘Janta curfew’ i.e. public curfew and suggested that no one should step out of their houses from 7am to 9 pm, unless in case of emergency.
In an almost 30-minutes telecast Mr. Modi advised the countrymen to practice ‘Janta curfew’ which would be a test of their “self-discipline”, required in combatting the deadly virus.
Mr. Modi urged state governments to spread the message of ‘Janta Curfew’ and ensure its compliance on Sunday. He said, “22nd March will be the symbol of our effort, our self-restraint, our resolve to fulfil our duty in the service of the nation. The success of the people’s curfew, and the experience gained from it, will also prepare us for upcoming challenges… During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes, nor get onto the streets and refrain from roaming about in our societies or areas.”
In his address on Thursday night, he also spoke against hoarding which got triggered due to weeks of lockdown rumours. He reassured the public against shortages, saying that there is no need for hoarding as medical and grocery stories would remain open.
PM also urged people to take all the needed precautions including social distancing, isolation in case of victims, taking care of personal hygiene and staying indoors. He asked people not to underestimate the spread of coronavirus and think that the deadly virus, which has hit many developed nations, would not harm India. He called the ongoing crisis one of the gravest in history, even bigger than World War I and II.
The PM wanted people for the “coming few weeks” to show “resolve” and “restraint”. “The entire world is going through a phase of serious crisis… In these two months, 130 crore people of India have taken necessary precautions… Complacency in the face of this global pandemic is not correct… We have to take a resolve that we shall protect ourselves… Hum swasth to jag swasth (If we are healthy, the world will be healthy),” Modi said.
The government has already taken precautionary measures to curtail the spread of the disease by shutting down schools, colleges, malls, restaurants and public places and parks.
The big question which lies ahead is if the nation with 133 crore population, lacking proper sanitation, clean drinking water and access to medical facilities is ready to beat the virus and practice social distancing in true sense.
“People are concerned about missing out on work. But if we miss the chance to contain the disease now, there might be no work left,”‘ explained Dr. Amrita Basu, an ENT surgeon based in Bengal.
“I work with infections every day. I’m all gloves and masks for isolated cases, but we cannot replicate that for a mass scale,” she told News18 in an interview.
“India is doing a much better job of starting to stop it at the right time,” feels Basu, but adds that there is a very small window of opportunity. “It’ll require 2-3 weeks of people staying away, till the ones confirmed with the disease are treated, then it doesn’t have to be such a severe measure,” she said.