New Delhi: Millions across the country are staying in today to counter the threat from the highly contagious COVID-19, a disease spread by the Novel Coronavirus, which has disrupted economies and killed thousands across the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for the “janata curfew” or self-imposed quarantine to break the chain of coronavirus infections, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) says spread through person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets. “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,” PM Modi tweeted moments before the “Janata curfew” came into effect.
The one-day “janata curfew”, one of the biggest national exercises in the world, has been necessitated by the rising cases of COVID-19 across India. On Thursday, PM Modi had said in a 29-minute address to the nation: “There is no cure for this, so we need to remain healthy. We need to avoid crowds and stay home. Social distancing is critical. If you think you can roam around as usual and feel you will not be at risk, this is incorrect; you are endangering yourself and your family.”
The PM asked citizens to stand at their doors, windows and balconies at 5 pm and clap, clang utensils or ring bells in a show of support to those providing essential services while the entire country is on a self-quarantine mode.