INDIA’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an impassioned plea to the nation to join in a “people’s curfew” that will be imposed this Sunday on 22nd March 2020. The people’s curfew he said was a curfew “imposed for the people, by the people, on the people themselves.”  He made the announcement when he addressed the nation on 19th March 2020 about measures to combat COVID-19. The curfew will start from 7am to 9pm. During this period he asked everyone shall neither leave their homes, nor get onto the streets or roam about. Only those associated with emergency and essential services can leave their homes. He said that: “22nd March 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 22nd March, and the experience gained from it, will also prepare us for our upcoming challenges.”

Earlier in his address he warned about complacency and that it is essential that each and very Indian remains alert and cautious. The Prime Minister also said he will request everyone to also give of their time in the coming weeks. He said there a few countries that have been able to control the spread of the Corona virus by taking swift decisions and isolating its people as much as possible and he urged all to practice ‘Social Distancing’ and in the next few weeks: “Step-out of your homes only when absolute necessary” and that apart from essential services personnel, “Everybody else must however, isolate themselves from the rest of society.” He singled out especially the elderly, senior citizens and those above 65 years of age not to leave homes for the next few weeks.

On the day of the people’s curfew of 22nd of March 2020 he also wants the nation to express gratitude to everyone who has been selflessly serving others such as doctors, nurses, hospital and sanitation workers, transport and home delivery agents etc. He wants everyone on Sunday at 5pm to give a 5-minute standing ovation: “We clap our hands, beat our plates, ring our bells to boost their morale and salute their service.”

He also explained in his address that: “This global pandemic is also going to have a wide-ranging impact on the economy. Keeping in mind the economic challenges arising from the Corona virus, the government has decided to set up a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under the leadership of the Finance Minister.”

To view the video of PM Modi’s address (in Hindi) and transcript in English visit here 

To view extract of a High Commission of India, Singapore circular on all scheduled Indian and foreign airlines travelling to/from India visit here