Several roads are deserted, Metro stations closed in Delhi and public places shut down as the country is observing Janta Curfew which began at 7 am on Sunday. The curfew is being observed to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus disease Covid-19 that has killed four people so far and infected more than 300 in the country.
The voluntary curfew will last till 9 pm.
In Chennai, authorities have put up boards outside the Marina Beach announcing its closure. There is also adequate police presence in the area. "There is a restriction on a large gathering of people. So, we are organising the praying session via YouTube so they don't need to come to the church for the holy mass," said George Anthony Swamy, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore.
From Ludhiana in Punjab to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, roads are empty and shops closed. Metro stations in Delhi also wear a deserted look. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had announced that its services will be closed on Sunday, when the country observes Janta Curfew.
"Janata Curfew is an important step by the people for the health of the people. I request all of you to follow the guidelines given by PM Narendra Modi, regarding Janta Curfew," BJP president JP Nadda tweeted in Hindi on Sunday morning.
All citizens barring those working for essential services are required to stay indoors during 14 hours of self quarantine.
India is currently at stage 2 of Sars-CoV-2 virus transmission. Today's 'public curfew' is a precautionary measure meant to lessen the chances of the coronavirus disease from spreading to more people and ensure that the country does not slip into Stage 3 - that of community transmission.
"This is the first major step to prevent person-to-person transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. First, this move will help in checking the spread of virus from the infected people to others. And secondly, it is an opportunity for the people of the country to test themselves for bigger challenges that lie ahead, as Prime Minister said," said Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Centre for Chest Surgery, Sir Gangaram Hospital, in a video posted by the government in its Twitter handle MyGov India.
The Indian Railways has announced that no passenger trains will originate from any junction in the country from midnight on Saturday to 10.00 pm on Sunday as part of the Janta Curfew.
The Prime Minister, in his televised address to the nation on Thursday, asked people to stay in the safety of their own homes as much as possible during the duration of the Janta Curfew. However, people can step out for absolutely essential services like an emergency situation or necessary healthcare.