March 19, 2020 / 3:18 PM / 15 days ago

Modi wants citizens to impose curfew on March 22 to prevent spread of coronavirus

People watch Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on TV screens inside a showroom in Ahmedabad, India, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to citizens to observe a self-curfew on March 22 as part of a trial-run to test social isolation to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In his address to the nation, Modi said the growing challenge posed by the coronavirus was not normal, and urged everyone to practice social distancing.

“These are testing times but we all have to maintain discipline to prevent spread of the virus,” he said, adding the pandemic has severely affected the Indian economy.

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui, Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Alex Richardson

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