Hours into Sunday’s nationwide self-quarantine, people across India took a moment to join in solidarity and thank the nation’s health care workers combating the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Following similar scenes days prior in Italy and Spain, Indians stood in their doorways and on balconies at 5 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET) applauding, ringing bells and blowing conch shells, heeding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to express gratitude to those who have been on the front line.
Modi proposed the 14-day quarantine during a national address Thursday, as coronavirus cases in India and across the world continued to rise. As of late Sunday local time, India had 376 coronavirus cases, seven of which have been fatal, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The applause reverberated through the deserted streets of India. Indians of all ages joined celebrities, soldiers and politicians in thanking caregivers.
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In the capital, New Delhi, President Ram Nath Kovind and senior ministers from Modi’s Cabinet stood in their respective courtyards, expressing gratitude with a standing ovation.
About 20 miles southwest of the capital, in Gurugram, scores of residents in a massive apartment complex were clapping, blowing conch shells and ringing bells. Similar scenes unfolded in complexes across the nation.
In Jaipur, a city of 3 million about 160 miles southwest of New Delhi, two men blew conch shells from their balconies.
Their neighborhood was replete with sounds from different households, as residents joined in at the top of the hour to cheer on the country’s emergency service personnel.
Soldiers from the Indian army, stationed throughout the country, also spent several minutes clapping to offer thanks, a tweet from the army’s Eastern Command showed.
Bollywood celebrities expressed solidarity from their homes. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family were seen on their terrace, acknowledging India’s coronavirus warriors.
“NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS ! PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN - JAI HIND,” he tweeted, using the rallying cry that’s often translated as “Victory to India.”
Sunday evening, Modi acknowledged the overwhelming response across the country.
“This is not only the sound of gratitude, but also the beginning of a long fight where we will attain victory. Let us, with this determination and resolve bind ourselves in social distancing,” he wrote on Twitter..
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.