Refrain from panic buying and stockpiling: PM Modi on Covid-19 crisis
Modi appealed to state government to enforce the curfew and urged citizens to spread the message. The curfew will be a challenge and test India’s resolve, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to citizens on Thursday to practise social distancing and work from home, if possible, to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus that has killed four people in India.
In a 30-minute television address, he also asked citizens to take a pledge to keep themselves and others in the society safe.
“Please maintain a janta curfew on March 22 (Sunday) from 7am to 9pm. Let’s exercise restraint on that day and avoid going out unless it is absolutely necessary,” he said, also asking elderly people, especially those above 65 years, not to go out.
Modi appealed to state governments to enforce the curfew and urged citizens to spread the message. The curfew will be a challenge and test India’s resolve, he said.
There are emergency workers out on the field who have high chances of getting infected but are delivering their duties, Modi said, acknowledging the contribution of health staff and other such workers.
“I want that on March 22 we thank all these people. And the way this is done can unite citizens,” he said. “At 5pm, we will stand at the door or in the balcony for five minutes to thank them...by clapping...we will encourage them,” Modi added.
The government has created a task force to come up with measures to mitigate the economic challenges emanating from the crisis, Modi announced, noting that the highly contagious virus is impacting the economy.
He assured the nation that the government is taking all steps to ensure that citizens do not face any supply shock. “Please refrain from panic buying and stockpiling essentials,” he said.
India has to remain vigilant to fight the pandemic, he stressed, adding that citizen needs determination and patience to deal with the situation.
“You have never turned down my request...And because of you we are moving towards the target we have set,” he said. “And I have a request today...I want from you your next few weeks,” he appealed to the nation.
Modi highlighted that there is no vaccine to treat the Covid-19 disease and that how infections have spiralled in some countries some time after the virus first surfaced.
“Some countries have taken necessary steps and isolated people to keep them safe,” he said.
In a country like India, the problem is not an ordinary one, Modi said. “It will be wrong to assume that India will not be impacted at a time when several developed countries have been impacted.”