NEW DELHI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to the countrymen to isolate themselves at their homes in order to save themselves from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a televised address to the nation, Modi said that COVID-19 had adversely affected many nations over the past two months, and that it was a wrong belief that it won't affect people in India.
Modi also urged the Indians to observe a self-imposed curfew on March 22 (Sunday) from 0700 hours till 2100 hours and stay inside their homes. He specially urged those aged above 60 years not to move out of their homes in the coming weeks.
The local (district) administrations across the country must blow siren at 1700 hours on Sunday to alert the people about the timing of thanking the people engaged in controlling COVID-19 spread, said Modi.
He also suggested that enough care should be taken to ensure essential services do not come under pressure. "Routine medical check-ups at hospitals should be avoided at hospitals in a bid to avoid putting extra pressure on the medical facilities available in the country. Also, non-urgent medical surgeries should be postponed to a later date," said Modi.
He further stated that all steps were being taken to ensure adequate supplies of milk, food and medicines so that there was no shortage. "I appeal to the people not to indulge in panic buying and unnecessarily hoarding of food products."
Modi said that the country's economy too was adversely affected. To meet the economic challenges posed by COVID-19, an "Economic Response Task Force" had been constituted under the leadership of the country's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Modi also appealed to the people to make a strong "resolve" and observe "restraint" in order to fight COVID-19. "I appeal to all the countrymen to resolve to save themselves and near and dear ones from COVID-19, and also observe restraint by maintaining social distancing and avoiding unwanted venturing out of homes," said Modi.
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