Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India introduced a sweeping, nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, declaring residents throughout the nation of 1.three billion should keep at house for the following three weeks.
Addressing the nation for the second time in per week, the prime minister mentioned the decree, which takes impact at midnight Tuesday, was a obligatory measure in battling an unprecedented well being disaster.
“To avoid wasting India and each Indian, there shall be a complete ban on venturing out of your properties,” Modi mentioned within the televised tackle. “Each district, each lane, each village shall be underneath lockdown.”
He added: “In case you can’t deal with these 21 days, this nation will return 21 years.”
In latest days, India has been taking extra aggressive measures to curb the unfold of coronavirus, introducing curfews in lots of states, banning worldwide and home flights, and suspending passenger service throughout its intensive rail system.
The nationwide lockdown will have an effect on almost one-fifth of the planet’s inhabitants, amid rising issues that the virus may unfold unchecked by means of the world’s second-most populous nation. By means of Monday, Indian well being officers have reported 469 confirmed circumstances of coronavirus and 10 deaths, however have confronted criticism for not testing extra broadly.
Important companies will stay open all through the lockdown, together with hospitals and pharmacies, whereas supermarkets, media, and sure different companies are exempted from the stay-at-home order. Modi additionally pledged $2 billion to bolster the nation’s struggling well being care system.
After his televised tackle, the prime minister took to social media to reassure his 54 million followers, tweeting: “My fellow residents, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PANIC. Important commodities, medicines and so forth. could be out there. Centre and numerous state governments will work in shut coordination to make sure this. Collectively, we’ll struggle COVID-19 and create a more healthy India.”
He additionally urged residents to not rush to shops and inadvertently help the virus’s unfold. “No panic shopping for please. Please keep indoors.”