In his address to the nation on the Coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday requested the citizens of India to avoid visiting hospitals for a routine check-up to ease pressure on the medical staff. He said, "I request the countrymen to avoid visiting hospitals for routine check-ups. If you have an appointment for any non-essential surgery, please postpone for one month. We should keep in mind that pressure should not come on hospitals." He also appealed to people to phone their doctors, especially if they have doctors among their relatives, if they are in dire need of medical advice.
The Prime Minister called for a "Janata Curfew" on Sunday, saying all citizens must stay home from 7 am to 9 pm to try and check the spread of the deadly virus. The Prime Minister also cautioned citizens against hoarding and panic-buying, assuring that the supply of essentials like milk, medicines and food would be maintained.
"Under this Janata curfew, no one should leave their home or gather in their neighbourhoods. Only those related to essential services should go out," said the Prime Minister, adding that all citizens must abide by it. "On that day, at 5 pm, we will stand at our balconies, windows or doors for 5 minutes, we will show our gratitude to those maintaining essential services by ringing bells, sounding sirens and clapping...," he added.
He said 'resolve and restraint' are required to combat global coronavirus epidemic. "In big and developed countries, we are seeing the widespread impact of the coronavirus epidemic. So, it is wrong to believe that it will not have any effect on India. Hence, to combat this global epidemic, two major things are required: resolve and restraint," said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Modi asked citizens to give him their time for the next few weeks. "You have never disappointed me whenever I have asked for something. It is from all your blessings that we are moving towards our set goals. Today, I need the coming few weeks from all. Neither there has been no definite cure to deal coronavirus, nor is there a vaccine. In such a situation, it is natural for us to be anxious."
"However, 130 crore Indians have bravely faced a global pandemic like a coronavirus in the last two months. The citizens of this country have made earnest attempts to follow precautions. We shall not take a global pandemic like coronavirus lightly. It is a time that we all have to maintain vigilance," he said.
COVID-19 which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has infected more than 2,00,000 people and killed more than 8000 across the world. Of these, China has over 80,800 positive cases while Italy's tally stands over 27, 900. Meanwhile, India has reported four deaths and 173 cases so far.