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India to observe ‘Janata curfew’ on Sunday amid spurt in Coronavirus cases

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New Delhi, Mar 21 : The country will be observing 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 shops except those dealing in essential items will be closed on the day.

Cutting across party lines, chief ministers and others leaders urged the people to follow the self-imposed curfew from 7 am to 9 pm, noting that “social distancing” was key to breaking the chain of infection, as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 283 after 60 new cases were detected on Saturday, the highest so far in a day, and states like Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar imposed partial lockdown till month end.

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. Metro services, including in Delhi, will remain suspended for the day.

Air carriers like GoAir, IndiGo and, Vistara have announced that they will be curtailing domestic operations on Sunday.

Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that they will keep their establishments shut across the country Sunday.

From suspending regular prayers 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 for Sunday.

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.