"Our moderation and determination will be defeated by this epidemic," Modi tweeted early morning on 22 March, 2020.
Earlier, the prime minister had asked all Indians to stay home on Sunday between 7 am and 9 pm to fight the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. "All citizens should follow janta curfew. No citizen should step out or congregate," he said in an address to the nation.
All markets and establishments except those dealing in essential goods and services will be closed for the day.
Several public services, including the Railways and metro services, are halted today during the public curfew.
The Indian Railways has regulated trains services on 22 March. All passenger trains originating between midnight of 22 March to 11 pm of 22 March will be cancelled, suburban services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderbad will be reduced to bare minimum level on Sunday. Besides, all long-distance and intercity trains, including premium trains originating between 4 am and 10 pm will be cancelled.
Moreover, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to keep its services closed on 22 March 2020. "In the wake of ‘Janata Curfew’ to be observed this Sunday i.e, on 22nd March 2020, DMRC has decided to keep its services closed. The move is aimed at encouraging public to stay indoors and maintain social distancing, which is essential in the fight against Covid-19," DMRC said in a tweet. In a statement, DMRC also said, "Random thermal scanning of passengers will be carried out at all metro stations."
Additionally, the Mumbai Metro and Mumbai Monorail are also suspended for the day, while BEST buses are running according to their holiday schedule, officials informed.
States like Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar have announced either complete or partial lockdown till month end.
Air carriers like GoAir, IndiGo and Vistara announced that they will be curtailing domestic operations on Sunday. However, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that 12 airports in the North-East region that fall under the essential services category will continue to be functional on Sunday during 'Janta Curfew'.
On the other hand, cab-hailing services, including Ola and Uber is likely to be disrupted today. "In our efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, we are temporarily suspending the "Ola Share" category until further notice," the company said in a statement.
Describing it as the need of the hour, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked everyone in the country to support the step.
In the wake of coronavirus scare people are fleeing the cities and taking refuge in their villages, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Saturday saying that people should refrain from leaving cities as they will pose a risk of spreading the deadly virus to the villages.
"Many of my brothers and sisters are leaving the city where they earn a living and returning to their villages. Travelling in a crowd increases the risk of COVID19 infection. Wherever you're going, it'll pose danger to people there too. It'll increase difficulties for them.," PM Modi tweeted.
While addressing the nation earlier, Modi had cautioned that India could not be immune to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. He said social distancing was very important in such times. He said taking “sankalp and sanyam" (pledge and patience) were two important features to conquer the virus.
“Complacency will be our undoing," he said ahead of appealing to the nation to strictly adhere to “social distancing."
Covid-19 cases in India rose to 315 Saturday after more than 60 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry said.
"Total number of confirmed cases so far in the country as on 21 March including foreign nationals is 315," the Health Ministry said late Saturday.
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