Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address to the nation on March 19, appealed to the people to observe a 'Janata Curfew' or public curfew on March 22 as a measure to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"This Sunday, on March 22, from 7 am to 9 pm, all citizens are required to follow Janata Curfew," PM Modi said, requesting people to self-impose this restriction.
During the Janata Curfew, no one should venture out on the streets, except for people associated with essential services.
The prime minister also appealed to the state governments, NSS, NCC and other civil societies to help comply with the Janata Curfew. He asked people to call up ten others and inform them about the curfew, asking them to observe it on the coming Sunday.
Realising that the curfew will be a challenge, PM Modi said, that at 5 pm on Sunday, "let's celebrate those who have successfully helped in curtailing the pandemic, by coming out in your balconies, singing songs, clapping, etc".
PM Modi added that this is also the time to test the preparedness of India against a pandemic such as the coronavirus.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
At least 173 cases, including 25 foreigners, of COVID-19, have been reported in India. In addition, the death toll has risen to four.
Many states, including Maharashtra, where the highest number of cases have been reported in India, as well as the national capital Delhi, have asked all schools, colleges, gyms to close down.
Most domestic carriers have suspended their international operations. Besides, DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has announced that no international commercial plane will be allowed to disembark passengers – foreigners or Indians – on the Indian soil after 01:30 am on March 23.
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