PM Modi announced a Covid-19 taskforce that would draw up measures to combat the economic effects of the pandemic, told employers not to cut the pay of staff and called for a “Janata Curfew” on Sunday. He warned of the outbreak’s “wideranging” economic impact, underscoring the need to be prepared.
“These are testing times but we all have to maintain discipline to prevent the spread of the virus…People need to resolve that they will follow the advice of Central and state governments,” the prime minister said, adding that social distancing is the only effective way to deal with the pandemic. “March 22 will be a symbol of our effort, of our self-restraint, and our resolve to fulfil our duty in service of the nation. The success of a people’s curfew on 22 March, and the experience gained from it, will also prepare us for our upcoming challenges,” Modi said in his address. “I urge all state governments to take leadership in ensuring compliance of this people’s curfew.” The Prime Minister also wanted the nation to applaud at 5 pm on March 22 the selfless work of essential services personnel.Citizens also need not panic and start hoarding groceries and food items, Modi said. The supply of all such items will not be disrupted, he said.PM Modi said that citizens should try and not go to hospitals for routine check-ups. Instead, they should just call their doctors over the phone for a consultation. It is important that the healthcare system is not stretched, PM Modi said.