Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a complete lockdown for the next 21 days to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the country. Beginning from Tuesday midnight, the lockdown will last until 15 April.
In his address to the nation, Modi said: “From today midnight, the entire country will be under complete lockdown for 21 days. There will be a complete restriction on the movement of people. On Sunday, we observed Janta Curfew but this is more advanced curfew.”
Under the Janta (public) Curfew on Sunday, India witnessed self-imposed isolation after a call from the Prime Minister last week.
“These 21 days are very important to control the spread of the virus. The country will go back 21 years if we do not take these 21 days seriously,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister has claimed that people do not have to worry about services as it says it has plans in place to keep the delivery of essential supplies running.
“We are taking all steps to ensure continuous supply of essential commodities,” he said. Taking note of the cases of harassment against people working under essential services, especially health workers, Modi urged people to be more sensitive towards those “who are working while putting their lives at risk”.
Prime Minister mentioned the unimaginable economic costs of this lockdown but emphasised that life is much more important than an economic crisis.
All essential jobs, including those of security personnel, health workers, media employees and cleaning staff, will continue as normal.
Modi also announced a $2 billion special package to strengthen the health infrastructure in the country. These funds will be used to enhance the capacities of testing facilities related to corona, including isolation beds, ICU beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment.