NEW DELHI—India tried a a single-working day nationwide shutdown on Sunday, hoping to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus and give citizens and policy makers a taste of how the significant, boisterous democracy would behave less than unparalleled limitations.

During the seven a.m. to 9 p.m. lockdown—dubbed the “people’s curfew” by Key Minister Narendra Modi when he unveiled it—people have been questioned to keep in their houses and most firms have been shut.