India to freeze tomorrow in fight against coronavirus

Chennai: The whole nation is expected to come to a standstill tomorrow for the Janta curfew announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Thursday night, Modi asked the entire country to observe ‘Janta curfew’ Sunday for 14 hours from 7 am to 9 pm to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He asked people to stay off the roads and public places during this period. The Janta Curefw is widely hailed by the people and many including the opposition parties have extended their support. Sources said that mail and express trains will stop services from 4 am on Sunday.

”All suburban train services will be reduced to a bare minimum as well,” sources added. In a nearly 30-minute national broadcast, Modi asked people to stay indoors and work from home as much as possible while underscoring the dangers of coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a crisis as grave as this. ”Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done,” Modi said, asking people to avoid this mindset that the disease will not affect India much when it has hit hard many developed countries.

Amid incidents of people resorting to hoarding food items in panic, Modi said ”panic-buying” must be avoided and essential things, including medicines, should not be hoarded, adding his government is working to ensure their supply. He asked people to follow the directives of central and state governments to combat coronavirus. It is critical that in this global pandemic, humanity emerges victorious, India emerges victorious, he said.

He added the pandemic is ”deeply hurting” the economic interests and well-being of India‚Äôs middle class, lower-middle class, and poor segments.

What about Tamilnadu?

As far as Tamilnadu is concerned, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has said that bus and Metro Rail services will be suspended on Sunday. In a statement, Palaniswami appealed to the people of the State to not venture out of their houses unless it was ”essential” while those above the age of 60 years should strictly remain indoors.

”Private transport operators and owners of mini-buses too have been asked to extend support and not operate their vehicles on that day,” he said.

Public and private libraries would be closed from 21 to 31 March, the Chief Minister said. He further asked people against visiting hospitals for general treatment and advised those scheduled for a surgery to postpone it.

The Chief Minister said people should avoid panic buying and should not believe rumours. The public are requested to extend their gratitude to those who do selfless service to others, he said.

The State government has also announced that TASMAC liquor outlets will be closed tomorrow. Meanwhile, Chennai Corporation Commissioner said that considering the wellness of the people, despite the Janta Curfew Amma Unavagams will be open tomorrow.

In the wake of the crisis, the Kanchi Kamakodi Peetam today donated Rs 10 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Modi lauds Palaniswami

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appreciated the efforts taken by the Tamilnadu government to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the State.

Modi conveyed his wishes to Palaniswami over phone during which the latter said that the nine instructions announced by the Prime Minister will be implemented in the State.

NT Bureau