‘Stay Indoors’, appeals govt as India observes 14 hrs Janata curfew today

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/22/2020 2:15:46 AM Front Page

Ladakh registers 3 more coronavirus case, total 315 in country

JAMMU: The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will join the rest of the country to observe an unprecedented shutdown on Sunday following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 'Janata curfew', where people have been urged to voluntarily stay indoors to check the spread of coronavirus while public transport will be suspended or curtailed and all markets and establishments except those dealing in essential goods and services will be closed on the day.
Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu led the administration in appealing to general public to make ‘Janta Curfew’ a success by observing it in letter and spirit on March 22, between 7 am and 9 pm during which, people should stay at home.
He also urged people to encourage health care professionals, security personnel and other essential services staff fighting COVID-19, by mass clapping, ringing bells etc at 5 pm on March 22 as a mark of respect and motivation, and was joined by people cutting across the lines of regions and religions.
The stress remained on "social distancing" as the key to breaking the chain of transmission, even as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 315 after 60 new cases were detected on Saturday, the highest so far in a day, including three from Ladakh, taking the total such cases in neighbouring UT to 13.
In Jammu and Kashmir, 3611 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance and, so far, only four cases have tested positive.
According to the daily Media Bulletin on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) 2557 persons have been kept under home quarantine while as 50 are in hospital quarantine.
Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 584 while as 420 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.
The Bulletin further said that 213 samples have been sent for testing of which 205 tested as negative and only four cases have tested positive so far, while as four reports are awaited till March 21, 2020.
No passenger train will originate from any railway station in the country from midnight to 10 pm on Sunday while all suburban train services will be reduced to a bare minimum as well.
Traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that they will keep their establishments shut across the country for the 'Janata curfew'.
From suspending regular prayers involving large gatherings in shrines of various faiths, including Sunday mass, to disallowing jail inmates from meeting their families on the day, organisations and institutions in every sphere have announced restrictions. Modi had on Thursday called for the 'Janata curfew' from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their houses, and asserted that it will be a litmus test to show India's readiness to take on the coronavirus challenge.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked chief secretaries of all states to ensure that the 'Janata Curfew' is observed properly and to see that local bodies, fire services, police and civil defence blow sirens or ring bells on Sunday evening to express gratitude towards those involved in tackling the disease.
"We are looking for unity in isolation," Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal told reporters.
Describing it as the need of the hour, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asked everyone in the country to support the step.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu too made a fervent appeal to the people of the country to confine themselves to homes. He said that since the virus spreads through physical contact, social distancing is an effective measure to contain its spread by avoiding contact during the incubation period of the virus.

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