New Delhi: On a day when the country observed ‘Janata Curfew’, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday night stated that the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has gone up to 396. The ICMR said that the number includes foreign nationals as well. Also Read - Bollywood Stars Clap, Bang Utensils to Show Support Towards Janata Curfew | Watch
In an unprecedented and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, millions of people across the country stayed indoors on Sunday and observed ‘Janata Curfew’ to help check the spread of coronavirus. Along with general citizens, Bollywood personalities and a number of political leaders came out at 5 PM to show gratitude to health and other essential service providers with sounds of bells, conches and claps. Also Read - India vs Coronavirus: Nation Observes 'Janata Curfew,' Applauds COVID-19 Warriors; States Announce Lockdowns | Top 10 Points
Here are top developments of the day related to coronavirus that has spread fear among people across the country. Also Read - Janata Curfew: People Come Out to Balconies Clapping, Clanging Thaalis to Thank Emergency Workers | WATCH
1) Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people for their support to the Janata Curfew and said it was the start of a long battle. He also urged all to follow social distancing to stop the chain of transmission of coronavirus which has infected 396 people across the country.
“Today’s Janata Curfew may end at 9 PM, but this does not mean we start celebrating. It is the beginning of a long battle. Today countrymen have told that we are capable, and once we decide we can take on any challenge together,” Pm Modi said in a series of tweets.
2) Because of the Janata Curfew, roads, railway stations and airports across the country wore a deserted look and markets and establishments except those dealing in essential goods and services remained closed during the 14-hour self-imposed curfew that started at 7 AM.
3) Roads and shopping malls in the national capital also wore a deserted look as people observed Janata Curfew and stayed indoors. The Delhi Police gave flowers to people who stepped out of their homes, requesting them to stay indoors. In some parts of the national capital, policemen also handed out masks and sanitisers to spread awareness about coronavirus.
4) Soon after the Janata Curfew was ended, a number of state governments announced a slew of extraordinary restrictions including suspension of all interstate-buses, passenger trains and metro services in the country, while 80 districts in 17 states and five Union Territories including Delhi were locked down till March 31.
5) Delhi, Jharkhand, Punjab and Nagaland declared a statewide lockdown while similar measures were announced in a number of districts in Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Several states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, had earlier imposed a partial or complete lockdown.
6) The country on Sunday reported three more coronavirus deaths, including the first casualties from Bihar and Gujarat, taking the toll to seven and the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 396.
7) Taking preventive measures, India’s leading automakers, including Maruti Suzuki India, Mahindra & Mahindra and Honda Cars, announced suspension of manufacturing activities at their plants. On the other hand, Fiat also put restrictions on production in the country till the end of this month.
8) Addressing a press conference earlier in the day, the Indian Council of Medical Research said they are ramping up testing efforts and added that they won’t do indiscriminate testing for COVID-19. The strategy is to test only those who show symptoms, its director general said.
9) Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday stressed on the need for social distancing to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. He also appreciated people’s overwhelming response to ‘Janata Curfew’ proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tackle the crisis.
10) The Indian Medical Association on Sunday in a letter, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for motivating people to show their gratitude towards the medical fraternity working to contain the spread of COVID-19. “The IMA on behalf of all its members appreciates your gesture of motivating the public to show gratitude towards doctors, nurses and healthcare workers of the nation who are tirelessly risking their lives to contain the disease,” it said in the letter.
11) Reports on Sunday night suggested that the Budget Session of Parliament is likely to be concluded on Monday after passage of the Finance Bill in both Houses. Media reports further suggested that the session, which was earlier scheduled to conclude on April 3, is now likely to be adjourned sine die on March 23.
12) Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday said it will provide free ration to poor people and Rs 1,000 to one family at a time in view if the coronavirus outbreak in the state. On the other hand, the Telangana government announced that it will provide 12 kg rice free of cost and Rs 1500 to over 87 lakh people holding white ration cards in the state.