PM Narendra Modi forms economic response task force, calls for ‘Janata Curfew’

PM Narendra Modi forms economic response task force, calls for ‘Janata Curfew’ Prime Minister Narendra 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 “wide-ranging” economic impact, underscoring the need to be prepared.

“There is a need to follow two important things to fight this pandemic — resolve and restraint,” he said in a televised address on Thursday. He appealed to businesses to act with empathy while assuring people that there are no shortages and telling them to avoid panic buying. Senior citizens should stay indoors and others should not leave home unless essential. The country needed to be vigilant and it would be wrong to assume that the coronavirus won’t have a greater impact than it already has.

“In the past few days, it is appearing as if we have averted the crisis, and everything is okay. Complacency in respect of a global pandemic like coronavirus is not appropriate,” the PM said. He pointed out that social distancing was “very important and effective as well”.

He said the Janata Curfew will be observed on March 22 between 7 am and 9 pm, comparing it to blackouts during wartime.

“During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes nor get onto the streets or roam about our localities. Only those associated with emergency and essential services will leave home,” the PM said. “This Janata Curfew will in a way be a litmus test for us. This is also the time to see how prepared India is to fight off a global pandemic like the coronavirus.”

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