New Delhi: People across the country put up a united front on Sunday (March 22, 2020) as they lent their overwhelming support to the self-imposed "Janata curfew" to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 as urged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on Thursday.
With India facing the outbreak of coronavirus and as many as 396 positive cases and seven deaths reported from across the country, one of the ways to stop the spread of the infection is social distancing or going into self-imposed isolation. There is no cure for the COVID-19 as of yet and that is what has makes this virus so deadly.
On Sunday, the entire country stayed indoors, coming out briefly at 5 pm to show gratitude to emergency workers like health officials, police forces and other essential service providers by clapping and playing any available instruments like bells, conches and even plates and bowls.
The clapping initiative also saw the participation of political leaders across the political spectrum, superstar actors and actresses, celebrities, and sports personalities. The entire country showed its appreciation to the emergency workers who have been working round-the-clock to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Cities and towns wore a deserted look as people showed the resolve to fight this epidemic. Be it Mumbai, known as the city that never sleeps, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai or several other cities and towns, life came to a standstill as roads, railway stations and airports saw only emergency footfall. Markets and commercial establishments except those dealing in essential goods and services remained shut during the 14-hour self-imposed curfew that was in force from 7 am till 9 pm.
The prime minister expressed his thanks at the success of the "Janata curfew" and the clapping initiative but said it was the start of a long battle, and further urged citizens to follow social distancing to stop the chain of transmission of COVID-19. "With this resolve and patience, let's restrict (social distancing) ourselves," he tweeted. "Today's Janta Curfew may end at 9.00 pm, but this does not mean we start celebrating... It is the beginning of a long battle. Today countrymen have told that we are capable, and once we decide we can take on any challenge together," he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.
On Sunday, India saw 81 new coronavirus positive cases, the highest in a single day to take the number of infected to 396. Two more sick people died taking the total toll to 7 in India while the worldwide death figure crossed 14,400 and overall positive cases spiked to 3.32 lakh.
Countries all over the world are fighting coronavirus by ensuring the lockdown of the infected areas and calling for social distancing and isolation of those sick.