COVID-19: 'Janta Curfew' anniversary today - curfew for and by the people

The curfew would pave the way for a 21-day nationwide lockdown that would be extended till May 31, 2020.

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Today marks the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic induced 'Janta Curfew' announced in the country on March 22 for 14 hours. Exactly a year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation, announced a 14-hour-long 'Janata Curfew', that was imposed in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the country. 

The curfew would pave the way for a 21-day nationwide lockdown that would be extended till May 31, 2020. This was the first time the country had witnessed such a move.

The whole world was reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic and India too was witnessing a steady rise in its daily cases of COVID-19.

Understanding 'Janta Curfew'

On March 19, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the people of the nation to observe 'Janta Curfew' from 7 am to 9 pm on March 20, 2020 in view of the rising COVID-19 infections in the country. The Janta Curfew was seen as a way to prepare the citizens for a lockdown. 

In his speech, PM Modi said, "Today, I seek some more cooperation from every citizen. It is Janta Curfew, a curfew for the people and imposed by the people themselves."

On-call by the Prime Minister, the citizens of the nation on March 22, 2020, clapped their hands and rang bells at 5 pm, to thank the medical fraternity and professionals of other essential services for their selfless services during the pandemic. 

What next

On March 24, PM Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. Later, it was extended thrice, with the final phase beginning on May 18, and concluding on May 31. From June 1 onwards, the country started reopening gradually, in what was termed as 'Unlock'.

Before the imposition of Janata Curfew, 13 states and Union territories were not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the coming days, the virus spread as far away as Andaman and Nicobar Islands, killing over 1,59,000 people.

Present Situation

A year later, India is fighting to contain a second wave of the coronavirus with an increase in the daily cases up to 46,951 new cases in the last 24 hours after several months of a declining trend.

Sunday recorded 43,846 new COVID-19 cases and 197 related fatalities in 24 hours, which is the highest single-day spike of this year, according to the official data of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India's COVID-19 tally currently stands at 11,599,130 including 11,130,288 recovered cases and 159,755 deaths. The active caseload of the country has gone up to 309,087 and the recovery rate has dropped to 95.96%.

Additionally, the death toll increased to 159,755 with 197 daily fatalities on Sunday.

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