India sets 21-day ‘complete lockdown’ to stop coronavirus spread
Narendra Modi Lockdown India for Three Weeks Over Corona virus Concern.
RASHEED KOMOLAFE with agency report
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, announced a 21-day lockdown on Tuesday.
Modi announced the lockdown in a televised address, telling residents of the world’s second-most populated nation that they will not be allowed outside their homes for 21 days beginning midnight Tuesday.
It is not clear exactly how Indians will be able to get food, medicine or other necessary supplies. Modi alluded to help from government and civil groups but did not elaborate.
“For a few days forget what it means to go out. Today’s decision of a nationwide lockdown draws a line outside your home,” Modi said.
“The only option is social distancing, to remain away from each other,” he said. “There is no way out to escape from coronavirus besides this.”
The lockdown comes after officials enacted a shutdown of the country’s major cities and suspended all trains, flights and long-distance bus services.
Though India has reported a relatively low tally of 519 coronavirus cases and 10 total deaths, according to researchers, health officials are concerned that the virus is already spreading from large cities to more rural areas. If the virus spreads as it has in China, the U.S. and Europe, it could overwhelm the health care system, particularly in more rural and poorer areas, and lead to disaster.
Modi on Tuesday also pledged nearly $2 billion for medical equipment and personnel to combat the virus. He cited advice from health officials and experts like the World Health Organization in announcing the lockdown.
- “India is today at such a stage, where our actions today will determine our ability to reduce the impact of this disaster,” he said.