Narendra Modi Speech on Coronavirus Updates: PM Calls for Social Distancing, Asks Indians to Follow ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday; Announces Economic Task Force

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Just hours before his address, the government announced it will not allow any international commercial passenger aircraft to land from March 22-29. The central government said the railways and Civil Aviation Ministry must suspend all concessional travel on trains and flights, except for students, patients and disabled people. “Similarly, all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out,” it added.

The Centre has requested states to enforce work from home for private sector employees, except for those working in emergency and essential services. “State governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives or government servants or medical professionals are advised to remain at home,” the statement noted.

To reduce huge gatherings, all group B and C category of central government employees will be asked to attend offices on alternate weeks, and there will be “staggered timings” for all employees.

Modi had on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. “Ways to further strengthen India’s preparedness were discussed. This includes further enhancing testing facilities,” the PMO said.

The Prime Minister has emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations in chalking out mechanisms to fight the coronavirus menace. He has also urged officials and technical experts to deliberate on the steps to be taken next.

Addressing the issue of coronavirus, the prime minister says, “This crisis has engulfed the entire human race. For the past two months, we have been watching with concern the news about coronavirus spreading across the world.”

“In the last few days there has been an environment of crisis. Every Indian needs to be cautious and careful. It is important for each of us to be alert. Indians have never disappointed me when I have asked for something in the past. This time, I want a few of your weeks.” the prime minister says.

Appealing to the people to follow social distancing, the prime minister says caution must be practiced to ensure that all of us are safe from contracting the coronavirus infection. He calls for avoiding all non-essential outings.

Warning the people against ignoring the advice to stay indoors, the prime minister says, “If you feel you are okay and nothing will happen to you, you are wrong.”
“Restrain is compulsory to protect ourselves and remain healthy. I request that for the coming weeks people should go out of their homes only if essential,” PM Modi says.
PM Calls for Janata Curfew | The prime minister calls for a ‘Janata Curfew’, which he says would mean a curfew imposed by the people on themselves in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
Janata Curfew on March 22 | “This Sunday, March 22, from 7 am to 9 pm, all countrymen have to follow the ‘janata curfew’. In this period no one should come out of their homes or in their society or building,” he says.
“If possible, please call at least 10 people every day and tell them about the ‘Janata Curfew’ as well as the measures to prevent corona virus,” the prime minister says.
Economic Response Task Force Created | The government has decided to create a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force, which will be headed by the finance minister.
Advising people against visiting hospitals for regular check ups, the prime minister says, “I request the countrymen to avoid visiting hospitals for routine check ups. If you have appointment for any non-essential surgery, please postpone  for one month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come on hospitals.”
“I appeal to all not to go into panic buying to store essential commodities. Steps being taken to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential commodities,” PM Modi says.
For last two months, millions are working day and night in hospitals and airports and serving others by not taking care of themselves. On March 22, at 5’o clock, we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in our windows and clap for 5 mins to salute and encourage them.

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