Coronavirus in India: 21 Days Lockdown Announced
Indian PM Narendra Modi announced a three-week complete lockdown of the entire country to combat the spread of Coronavirus
India is headed for a lockdown. A few days ago Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested for a Janta Curfew - voluntary stay at home - by citizens. Back then, some experts suggested that it was a dry run for a much longer period of lockdown. They were right. In a second address to the nation in a few days PM Modi called for a nationwide lockdown starting from midnight tonight (March 24).The curfew will for 21 days or three weeks. The National Disaster Management Act has also been implented.
The details are still awaited about how this work out and if essential services will be provided. However, with social distancing seeming to be the only way to combat the spread of the virus, there appears to have been no other way for the government but to take this drastic step.
In the adress, PM Modi once again emphasised the importance of social distancing and the need for such a severe step. He said that the virus was something that spread among people in a short time and hence there was no other way to minimise its impact than stay indoors. He also noted that developed countries like the US and the Italy, with their excellent healthcare systems were struggling to control the pandemic hence it was imperative that countries such as India - with this humongous population - practice this. Using the word 'Lakshman rekha', he said that it was necessary for people to exercise maximum restraint. He also added that INR 15,000 crore had been set aside for healthcare and that states have been instructed to prioritise health over any other issue.
India, earlier today, also announced a slew of measures to fight the economic impact of the virus giving relief to businesses and tax-paying citizens in various ways.
The move for a complete lockdown comes after the much-talked about janta curfew two days ago. Unfortunately, it appeared to have an opposite impact with people stepping out of their homes and celebrating in groups, after expressing gratitude to health workers by clapping and clanging their plates.
India, so far has reported over 500 cases of corona virus.