Coronavirus: India observes 14-hour curfew

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Roads and train stations across the country have been left completely deserted

More than a billion people in India have been invited to observe a 14-hour curfew to try to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the curfew last week, telling citizens it would be a test to assess the municipality's ability to fight the virus.

Modi asked citizens to stay indoors from 7 am (1:30 am GMT) until 9 pm on Sunday.

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So far, India has registered 315 cases.

Modi told his Twitter followers: "We will all be part of this curfew, which will add tremendous strength to the fight against the Covid-19 threat. The steps we take now will help in the near future."

Transportation across the country was affected by the curfew, according to NDTV. There are no long distance or long distance trains; however, those running before curfew will not be interrupted.

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Transportation in Mumbai and across the country has been affected by the curfew

Images from several cities in India show mostly empty roads and cities.

In Delhi, all stores have been closed, except those selling essentials and pharmacies. Religious places canceled activities as part of the curfew.

Modi asked people at 5 pm on Sunday to stand on balconies or near windows and ring bells to show their appreciation for medical professionals and sanitation workers.

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Citizens in cities like Kolkata have mostly joined the curfew

Some parts of India have already imposed stoppages.

Rajasthan ordered the strike to stop until March 31. Four cities in the state of Gujarat introduced similar measures until March 25.

India has banned the entry of everyone, including citizens, who fly from certain countries, including the United Kingdom and most European countries. It also canceled most entry visas for people traveling from other countries.

Popular monuments in India – such as the 16th century Red Fort in Delhi – were closed to visitors to avoid large gatherings.

The Taj Mahal, the country's most emblematic monument, closed its doors on Tuesday, along with more than 140 other monuments and museums.

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Media captionDr. Ramanan Laxminarayan: "India will be the next hot spot in this epidemic"

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