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PM Modi calls for 'Janata Curfew' on March 22
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a fervent appeal to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.
He called for 'Janta curfew' on March 22 from 7 am-9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of house.
"Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done," Modi said in a national broadcast.
Asking people to sacrifice "some weeks of yours, some time of yours", Modi said given that coronavirus has no cure yet, the only way to stay safe is to stay indoors.
"I request all people in country to get out of house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home," he said.
He asked the nation to acknowledge with gratitude the services of countless health and services personnel leading the battle against coronavirus pandemic. In his address to the nation broadcast on Thursday, the Prime Minister appealed to all citizens to "come out of their homes at 5 p.m. on March 22 and applaud for 5 minutes, the doctors, nurses, sanitation personnel, transport services personnel and all other people who disregard their own health safety for our lives."
Earlier in his speech, the Prime Minister urged citizens to face the coronavirus pandemic with resolve and restraint.
The Centre has formed an COVID-19 economic response taskforce, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.
Accordingly, the taskforce will be led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Modi said that the taskforce will assess the requirements of various sectors and also oversee implementation of the measures proposed.
The decision comes after a severe impact on several sectors including aviation, hospitality and tourism along with the overall economy.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister also assured availability of essential items and services, including medicines, health care, milk and food.
He also urged the citizens to avoid panic buying and not to hoard any essential items.