Some 1.2 billion Indians have responded in unprecedented ways to a self-imposed curfew with most cities looking deserted on Sunday morning. People will remain indoors for 14 hours until 9 p.m. (Indian Standard Time) to limit the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic in the country. As per the Indian Health Ministry, 315 people have so far been found to have the disease. Train and metro services will remain closed during the day.
“Let us all be a part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against the COVID-19 menace. The steps we take now will help in the times to come", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people minutes before the curfew commenced.
जनता कर्फ्यू शुरू हो रहा है...— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 22, 2020
मेरी विनती है कि सभी नागरिक इस देशव्यापी अभियान का हिस्सा बनें और कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई को सफल बनाएं।
हमारा संयम और संकल्प इस महामारी को परास्त करके रहेगा। #JantaCurfew pic.twitter.com/p5onFBSoPB
Public broadcasters and people have been sharing view of streets across India and claimed that people have listened to the appeal made by Modi.
Chennai: Marina beach at 8 am.— Shilpa Nair (@NairShilpa1308) March 22, 2020
No morning walkers or joggers. All shops shut. Very few vehicles on the beach road.#JanataCurfew #Chennai #Covid19 #CoronavirusOutbreak @TimesNow pic.twitter.com/Qa8LA1h6Vv
Modi has appealed to his fellow countrymen to clap, ring bells in a bid to show support for the works of doctors, nurses, and emergency personnel who are putting their lives on the line to fight the epidemic.
Meanwhile, several Indian states including Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Goa, have announced partial lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus. A few cities including Ahmedabad, Surat of Modi’s home state of Gujarat have declared a complete shutdown.
The Indian government has already announced the banning of international commercial passenger aircraft from landing in India for a week starting 22 March.