India’s Janta Curfew: the New Way of Fighting Coronavirus
India appears to have found innovative ways and means to check and cure coronavirus. First Indian doctors successfully treated coronavirus patients with a mix of HIV, swine flu, and Malaria drugs (lopinavir, ritonavir, oseltamivir useful in swine flu treatment, and chloroquine useful in the treatment of malaria) and now Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with the idea of a Janta (People) Curfew. It started on March 22 and lasted from 7 am to 9 pm.
What is the Janta Curfew?
The Prime Minister had in his address to the nation urged citizens to voluntarily stay off the roads and public places during the Janta Curfew, which was in place for 14 hours from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday, March 22. Essential services like police, media, medical services and so forth were excluded from the curfew. The PM’s address at a time amidst rising panic among the public was not only reassuring but was also a morale-boosting measure to enlist Indians’ active participation in the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
India is currently in Stage II of the outbreak, according to the health ministry. India has so far succeeded in containing the community spread of coronavirus reasonably well. Compared to other countries, and despite a population of 1.34 billion, 415 cases and seven deaths is relatively lower compared to those seen across Europe and elsewhere.
Modi knows he’s facing the formidable task of convincing over one billion people to obey the rules in a country which has has mastered the art of breaking the rules for centuries. Janta Curfew is an unique and radical concept in terms of managing mass psychology during a crisis. The overwhelming support of the curfew demonstrates that the entire nation can voluntarily rise to avoid a disaster by its collective determination, will power and discipline.
Janta Curfew Cuts Through the Coronavirus Transmission Chain
According to experts countrywide social isolation through the Janta curfew is a blow to the transmission chain of coronavirus and will allay further spread if it enters Stage 3 via community transmission. According to medical experts, coronavirus stays alive for 12 hours in one location, and the Janta Curfew’s duration was 14 hours so at public places where coronavirus spreads no one was there for 14 hours so the transmission chain got halted and the country benefited to a great extent from the curfew.
Solidarity: Applauding India’s Coronavirus Heroes
Modi’s second move of asking the nation to clap together to show appreciation for those working on the frontlines of the battle against the virus has also made everyone a stakeholder in the battle. The call to applaud India’s heroes is about learning how to do something together in unison in a disciplined manner.
According to experts, the appeal to all applaud together at 5 pm also has a hidden scientific message. The sound waves all over the country at a predetermined common time will disrupt the travel of the virus and prevent them from entering the surrounding area. This is the reason why sound and noise are made at the dawn and sunset in the temples, in the churches in ancient times and the holy Aazaan by Muslims. Without the sunlight, the virus and bacteria and all evil spirits become more active. Hence the move to create an aura of sound waves is to drive away all the negative forces and to save the country.
No doubt Modi is preparing the country for the worst while trying to avoid panic. The suspension of railways service up to March 31 and lockdown orders allowing only essential services in the 80 districts across the country, the suspension of board examinations advisory for those 65 years and above and below 10 years to stay at home, prohibitory orders in cities, the shutdown of restaurants, gyms, offices India is probably days gearing for a much bigger shutter down of public life. The Janta curfew is meant to psychologically prepare Indians for greater sacrifices and to generate the feeling that the response to the coronavirus is voluntary and in the national interest, rather than simply the consequence of an enforced decree. A sense of nationalism inspires sacrifice in a war-like situation. That’s what Modi is setting the ground for.