The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has spread across at least 170 countries.There are at least 173 active reported cases of novel coronavirus in India right now.The Union Health Ministry has said that 15 people have recovered so far, but four have died. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address to the nation today, appealed citizens to show 'resolve and patience' to tide over the crisis.
PM Narendra Modi said that resolve and patience are key in combating coronavirus.
Stating that the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed the entire human race, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged India to not step out of their homes for a few weeks till the scourge subsides and announced a ‘Janata Curfew for the whole country on Sunday. The Prime Minister said the curfew will be on from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday.
Keeping in mind economic challenges arising out of coronavirus, PM Modi also said the government has decided to form “Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force” that will be in touch with stakeholders and take future decisions.
His address comes as the total number of cases has swelled to 173, including 19 who have recovered and four deaths.
"Resolve and patience are key in combating coronavirus. People need to resolve that they will follow the advice of central and state governments," the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation.
Emphasising on the importance of social distancing, PM Modi said the method is effective in reducing the impact of coronavirus. "I request all people in the country to get out of their houses only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home," he said.
The Prime Minister also appealed to people to avoid panic buying and urged them to not hoard essential items like food and medicine. He also requested people to avoid going to hospitals for routine check-up to ease pressure on medical staff.
Earlier, PM Modi had told his party MPs not to panic but visit their respective constituencies on weekends to create awareness about the pandemic as well as the steps being taken to check it. Earlier this week, he had also taken to Twitter to interact with people on their experiences and preventive measures being taken on coronavirus while launching a "COVID-19 Solution Challenge" to find a "technology-driven" remedy for the pandemic. The winner will get Rs 1 lakh as prize money.
PM Modi also held a SAARC leaders summit via video-conference to discuss the way forward to fight the coronavirus pandemic and proposed the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund, for which it committed "an initial offer of US$ 10 million".
"It is clear that we have to work together. We can respond best by coming together not growing apart, collaboration, not confusion, preparation not panic," said Modi.
So far, the Centre has decided to suspend all visas, barring select categories, till April 15, effectively closing its borders for a month. The Centre also advised all states and Union territories to invoke provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which will enable them to enforce advisories as and when needed.