As the clock struck five on Sunday evening, millions of people in India came out on their balconies and terraces to clap, while some were clanging vessels and in a few cases, jubilant Indians even took to the streets to thank the health workers caught at the helm of coronavirus pandemic.
Citizens across the country were answering to the appeal by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to show gratitude to doctors, nurses and others working in the front to contain the coronavirus. From children to the elderly, common people to VIPs, all came out in balconies, lawns, and terrace of their homes participated in the event that was observed across the country.
The country imposed an unprecedented "Janta Curfew" - a shut down starting from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, in its effort to clamp on the spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID 19).
At five pm, Indians all over the country armed with their choice of instruments, including metal plates or kitchen utensils participated in the call to thank health workers. Some even played the sounds of conches and bells on their phones and music systems. Police sirens were also heard at India Gate and in other parts of the national capital.
There were some who took to the streets armed with conches and bells in a misconstrued effort to kill the coronavirus with vibrations, while some joined in claiming it will install positivity, forgetting the appeal for "social distancing."
India now has extended the shutdown and has announced that it will completely shut off 75 districts across the country where COVID 19 cases have been reported.
The Indian Railways, which one of the largest rail networks in the world, has suspended its services till March 31. Similarly, all interstate bus services also have been canceled till March 31.
In India's most populous city - Mumbai, the city's lifeline - the urban rail system hailed as one of the busiest in the world has also suspended services till March 31. All international flight services to/from India also have been suspended.
Can India handle this pandemic?
As of March 22, the total number of confirmed cases in India has risen to 396 and the eyes of the world are on India with many doubting India's capability to handle the spread of this deadly COVID 19 outbreak.
A spike in the number of cases is expected in the coming weeks as many more and more people will start getting tested.