PM Modi calls for Janta Curfew, urges people to stay indoors amid coronavirus scare

In a televised broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus.

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 the 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 the 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 the country to get out of the house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home," he said.

As the number of people infected with COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus continues to rise, the Indian startup ecosystem has sent a petition to the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17th of March 2020. The petition appeals for a “strict lockdown” and imposition of Section 144 across major cities in India by this week. 

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits the assembly of five or more people.

A total of 66 representatives from the Indian startup ecosystem, including founders and investors, have prepared and endorsed the petition, calling for a lockdown across major cities for a minimum of two weeks. It urges that Section 144 be imposed, latest by March 20, to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The petitioners include the likes of Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl, Cred’s Kunal Shah, Red Bus’ Phanindra Sama, and Accel Partners’ Prashanth Prakash. 

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

(Edited by Suman Singh)