mandag 23. mars 2020

India's 1.3 billion population put under anti-coronavirus 'people's curfew'

India’s population of more than 1.3 billion was asked to observe a “people’s curfew” on Sunday to try to halt the spread of coronavirus, an a lockdown of large swathes of the country has been announced for next week. As cases of coronavirus in India rose to 390 and the death toll reached seven, usually hectic city streets were deserted and most businesses remained shut from 7am to 9pm to comply with the voluntary “janata curfew” that had been announced by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, last week.

“Janata curfew will end at 9pm but it doesn’t mean we should start celebrating,” Modi said on Sunday. “It’s the beginning of a long battle. People shouldn’t come out of houses in states which have announced a lockdown. In the rest of the states, if it is not very important, don’t come out of your houses.”

As the curfew began, there were announcements of longer-term measures including the suspension of India’s railway system, which in normal times carries 23 million passengers a day.