Following Prime Minister Modi’s appeal for a ‘Janata Curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday, 7 crore businessmen from across the country will close their trading establishments to participate in the public curfew amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Their 40 crore employees will also observe the curfew.

This is the first time in the country that the leaders of trade unions have decided to close shops across the country through WhatsApp. Major leaders discussed the issue late last night through WhatsApp groups of businessmen in their respective states and later confirmed their participation in the curfew.

Sources say that around 1.5 lakh traders in Delhi and around 35 lakh employees will attend the Janata Curfew on March 22 and there will be no business in Delhi.

In a 30-minute address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people to participate in the Janata Curfew – ‘a curfew for the people and imposed by people themselves.’

The curfew is essentially in line with the social-distancing precaution prescribed by the medical experts in the time of the outbreak to contain further spread of the virus. It essentially means that people would have to take up the challenge to avoid public gatherings by essentially self quarantining themselves in their homes. However, essential services will remain open like medical and emergency services, law enforcement agencies.

“This Sunday, that is on 22nd March, all citizens must abide by the people’s curfew from 7 AM until 9 PM. During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes nor get onto the streets or roam about our localities. Only those associated with emergency and essential services will leave their homes,” Modi said in Thursday’s address.

“22nd March will be a symbol of our effort, of our self-restraint, and our resolve to fulfill our duty in service of the nation. The success of a people’s curfew on 22nd March, and the experience gained from it, will also prepare us for our upcoming challenges,” he further said.

Moreover in his address, he called for COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under the leadership of the Finance Minister.

“This global pandemic is also going to have a wide-ranging impact on the economy. Keeping in mind the economic challenges arising from the coronavirus, the government has decided to set up a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force under the leadership of the Finance Minister. This Task Force will take decisions in the near future, based on regular interactions and feedback from all stakeholders, and analysis of all situations and dimensions. This Task Force will also ensure that all steps taken to reduce the economic difficulties are effectively implemented,” he said.

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