Answering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to show gratitude to health workers who are at the forefront of the coronavirus fight, people across the country came out clapping and beating utensils today.
People, locked in their homes for days because of the shutdown over the virus which has killed seven in the country, appeared in their balconies and porches minutes before 5 pm on Sunday, and tried to boost the morale of health personnel by drumming utensils and gongs. Clanging sounds rang in the air for minutes in several parts of the country.
Several people sang bhajans (religious songs) and shouted patriotic slogans to boost the morale of health workers.
Politicians, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Telangana CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, also took part in the activity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi later thanked the people of the country.
"This (referring to the clapping and noise) is the sound of thanks and also the start of victory in a long battle against coronavirus. Let us carry this determination and settle down for a long fight," the Prime Minister tweeted.
"The country has thanked each person who has taken part in the fight against the novel coronavirus," he added.
ये धन्यवाद का नाद है, लेकिन साथ ही एक लंबी लड़ाई में विजय की शुरुआत का भी नाद है। आइए, इसी संकल्प के साथ, इसी संयम के साथ एक लंबी लड़ाई के लिए अपने आप को बंधनों (Social Distancing) में बांध लें। #JantaCurfew— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 22, 2020
The Prime Minister, in a televised address to the nation on Thursday, had called on people to boost the morale of doctors, nurses and emergency workers by appearing on their balconies and porches at 5 pm and make as much noise as they could for five minutes.
Several Bollywood personalities also took part in the exercise.
Thank you from the deepest of my heart & soul to all those doctors, nurses, police staff, army soldiers, airline staff, chemist shops and all those working selflessly in this time of global crisis. God bless the world pic.twitter.com/2Cwzo6GxOq— Gurdas Maan (@gurdasmaan) March 22, 2020
T 3478 - India has created HISTORY .. !! #JanataCurfew an unbelievable success .. and at 5 pm .. the entire country on their balconies roof tops gates and doors applauding the true heroes of the Nation ..; Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 22, 2020
NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS !
I AM PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN
InshaAllah #JantaCurfew will help against the spread of virus, though we may have to do this again. The clapping brought so much cheer. So a reminder of safeguards, with some cheer... Pls take it in the right spirit. To all relentlessly working today - Extremely Grateful. Thx! pic.twitter.com/2wfaXPlFVF— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) March 22, 2020
The country is set to grind to a halt shortly as railway, metro and interstate bus services will be stopped to break the march of coronavirus, which infected close to 350 people.
The railways, which had cancelled more than 1000 trains, said it will shut passenger train services till March 31. Interstate buses and metro services would follow the same schedule. Several states, including Punjab and Rajasthan, have announced a complete lockdown that involves shutting down public transport, malls and shops.
Only essential services will operate in 75 districts which saw confirmed cases of COVID-19, the government has said.