Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the nation and called for a Janata Curfew on Sunday, March 22. He said this curfew will be “for the people and by the people of India” and will be from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday.
PM Modi said it will apply to everyone and urged all citizens to stay inside their homes. He said those in emergency and essential services should do their regular duties. Here’s what PM Modi said in his coronavirus address
The PM also urged all state governments to take the lead in ensuring that the Janata Curfew is implemented across the country.
PM Modi urged the entire nation to stay at home for the coming few weeks to arrest the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. He said senior citizens aged over 65 years should stay indoors at all cost for the next few weeks.
PM Modi said the nation should unite in thanking those at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. He called for everyone to clap and ring bells at 5 pm on Sunday as a show of appreciation.
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The Imperial College’s COVID-19 Response Team suggests two “fundamental strategies” to tackle the coronavirus spread. The first is mitigation, focusing on slowing the epidemic spread so as to reduce peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk. The second is suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth by reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely.
But it presents major challenges. Mitigation, which will be a mix of home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk, could potentially reduce peak healthcare demand by two-thirds and deaths by half.
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But the cost of the resulting “mitigated epidemic” would still be high and result in “hundreds of thousands of deaths” and overwhelming of the health systems “many times over”. Hence, suppression would be left as the “preferred policy option” for countries that can do this. The Janata Curfew can be seen as a step in this direction, though initially just for a day.
The team says suppression will minimally require “a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members”, supplemented by school and university closures. However, there will be a need to do this for longer periods to get the desired impact.