INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (24) evening announced a complete lockdown in the counry for 21-days to combat the deadly coronavirus.
“The entire country will go on a lockdown from midnight. To save India, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your home. This is more stringent than the janata curfew,” Modi said in his address to the nation.
The PM urged people to stay at home. “I request people to stay where they are. This is the only way to break the chain of transmission,” Modi requested with folded hands.
My fellow citizens,
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PANIC.
Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this.
Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2020
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 519 on Tuesday, according to health ministry data. The number of active COVID-19 cases are 470 while 40 people have been cured, discharged or migrated.
The figure includes 43 foreign nationals and the ten deaths reported so far, the health ministry said.
He pointed out that experts have said that social distancing is the only way to combat the coronavirus. “If you step out, you invite a grave pandemic like corona to your home,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that there is a misconception that social distancing is for only people who have COVID-19. “It is for every citizen, family and family member. It’s also for the prime minister.”
“The ray of hope comes from those countries where residents didn’t emerge from their homes for weeks. They gave 100 per cent coooperation to government directives,” Modi reminded.
The Prime Minister said: “A number of people are coming forward to help the poor. We are making efforts to give not only what is required for daily life but also what is required for protecting life. To deal with this global pandemic, the Centre is taking the necessary steps.”
The Central government has allocated Rs 150 biillion for medical facilities to fight coronavirus, said the PM. This includes testing centres, ICU beds, personal protective equipment etc.