COVID19: PM CALLS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING, PEOPLE’S CURFEW, STAY WHERE YOU ARE, MEA TELLS INDIANS ABROAD
April 16, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on March 19 2020 urged Indians across the country to face the coronavirus
pandemic with collective determination and patience, to make sure that
“humanity and India prevails” in his address to the nation over
Urging Indians and residents
who are stranded in different cities abroad to find alternative
accommodation locally at least until the end of the month of March, the
Ministry of External Affairs said Indian missions are helping them make
arrangements and they must “stay put where they are”.
the Prime Minister’s Address
Mr. Modi also announced the
setting up of the COVID-19 task force, under Finance Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman for measures to mitigate some of the economic hardships
engendered by the pandemic.
There were nine
calls to action in Prime Minister Modi’s address, some of which are:
A self-imposed ‘janata
curfew’ (people’s curfew) on March 22
Not to resort to panic buying
Asking senior citizens to
Avoiding elective surgery or
routine health check-ups to not over burden health services
Asking employers to pay
employees in full when they have to stay home
To stay away from rumours.
He also asked that on March
22, at 5 p.m., people should step out on their balconies, verandas or
doorways and express by clapping or beating thalis (metal plates), their
appreciation for the work of those employed in hospitals, airports,
railways, police and other essential services, who he said “were our
bulwark, till now against the pandemic”.
He urged people to give up
the attitude that all was well or that they would, somehow, escape the
“This pandemic will hit our
middle and lower middle class and our poor economically,” he said,
appealing to industrialists and employers to ensure that salaries of
employees is not cut due to temporary shutting down of businesses and to
take a “humane view” of things.
Ministry of External Affairs said?
It is not advisable for
people to move from one region to another region.
This must be understood in
the context of the gravity of the crisis.
These restrictions are
temporary, so one should not panic.
If Indians are held up in
some places, our advice would be to stay put.
The government was requesting
other countries to extend the visas for Indians who have to stay on, in
the same manner that India has facilitated visa-extensions for foreign
nationals in India.
The government announced it
would suspend all incoming commercial flights to India from March 22, for
a week until March 29 2020.
Overseas Citizens of India?
The MEA said Overseas
Citizens of India (OCI) who are based in India but were abroad at the time
the government revoked their visa facility, would not be allowed back at
Ideally they must take care
of themselves locally with whatever resources they have, and our missions
are in the forefront to support these stranded Indian and helping them to
the best of our abilities.
the SAARC fund?
The government said it is
working on commitments made to neighbouring SAARC nations during the
video-conference initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th March
The [$10 million] emergency
fund is already up and running.
Requests totalling about $1
million for masks, gloves and disinfectants have already been received, of
which supplies have been dispatched to Bhutan and the Maldives.
Citizenship of India
The Overseas Citizenship of
India (OCI) is an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of
Indian origin to live and work in the Republic of India indefinitely.
The OCI was introduced in
response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora,
particularly in developed countries.
It was introduced by The
Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in August 2005.
It was launched during the
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention held in Hyderabad in late 2005.
The Constitution of India
prevents Indian citizens from holding dual citizenship. As such the OCI is
not actual citizenship of India according to Indian law as it has many
limitations such as no right to vote, no right to hold constitutional
offices, and no right to buy agricultural properties.