New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a fervent appeal to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.
He called for 'Janta curfew' on March 22 from 7 am-9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of house.
"...This is public curfew. Janata curfew means for the public, curfew imposed on public by themselves," he said.
"Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done," Modi said in a national broadcast.
Asking people to sacrifice "some weeks of yours, some time of yours", Modi said given that coronavirus has no cure yet, the only way to stay safe is to stay indoors.
"I request all people in country to get out of house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home," he said.
The prime minister further urged people above the age of 60 should avoid going out in the coming weeks.
"Today everyone has to take a resolve to not get infected by the COVID-19 and also save others from getting COVID-19. In such a pandemic case, only one mantra works, if we are healthy, then the entire world is healthy," he said.
At a time when no medicine have been made for the disease, the only thing to stay safe is restraint, he said. "Don't go in the crowds, avoid going out and what today is being called social distancing is very useful," he said.
"Our resolve and restraint is going to play very important role in fighting COVID-19."
The prime minister also said that if one thinks that by roaming on the streets is safe, then it is not good. "By doing so you will do injustice to your near ones. I urge the people of the country for coming weeks, whenever it is very necessary then only come out," he added.
India on Thursday registered 22 fresh cases of COVID-19 taking the total number of affected persons to 173. At least four people have died, one each from Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra.