India under complete lockdown for three weeks, announces PM Modi

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 24, 2020, 08.27 PM(IST) Edited By: Sonal Gera

Modi Live Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

The lockdown will begin 12 am on March 25 and will run for three weeks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown in India in the wake of the rapid increase in number of confirmed cases of coronavirus. The coronavirus tally has crossed the 500-mark in India with over 30 fresh cases of Covid-19 getting reported from across the country on Tuesday.

The number now stands at 536.

The lockdown will begin 12 am on March 25 and will run for three weeks.

“From 12 AM tonight there will be a complete lockdown across the country. In the view of the current situation, the nationwide complete lockdown will be in place for 21 days — three weeks. If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days of nationwide complete lockdown, we will be pushed back 21 years,” PM Modi said, in a televised address to the nation, on Tuesday evening.

He added, “Today India is at the stage where our actions today, will decide that to what extent we can bring down the impact of this disaster. This is the time to strengthen our resolve again and again.”

The prime minister also announced the allocation of Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen the health infrastructure in India. He said the fund would be used for developing health infrastructure in the country, increasing the number of beds, testing kits, and even training of professionals to combat the disease.

Prime Minister Modi also emphasised social distancing as the only resort to fighting the growth of coronavirus, adding it should be exercised at any cost. 

“Social distancing is the only option to stay safe and to stop Coronavirus - stay at a distance from each other and stay inside your houses,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi also thanked the citizens for the smooth execution of Janata Curfew imposed in the wake of the rapid increase in number of confirmed cases of coronavirus.

“The one-day Janata Curfew showed how we Indians come together and fight against any trouble which comes before the country and the mankind,” he said.

He added, “While staying at home, remember&pray for people who are working while putting their lives at risk. Remember the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pathologists who are working day&night to save lives, hospital administration, ambulance drivers, ward boys, serving others in these tough times.

“Pray for people who are working to sanitise your society and neigbourhoods, roads and public places to ensure complete eradication of the virus. You must also think about the media persons who are working 24 hours, by staying on roads and going to hospitals, to give you correct info.

“Think about the police personnel who are on their duty, day and night - without thinking about their own family, to protect you and your family. They also face the anger of some people sometimes.”

“Lockdown of 21 days is a long time, but this is important for you and your family's safety. I believe that every Indian will not only successfully tackle this challenge but also emerge victorious in this time of crisis,” he concluded.

PM Modi later tweeted to show solidarity with the people of the country, and asked them to not panic. He said essential commodities and medicines would still be available for all.

“My fellow citizens, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PANIC. Essential commodities, medicines etc would be available. Centre & various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this. Together, we will fight #COVID19 and create a healthier India. Jai Hind!”

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India has so far witnessed cases of COVID-19 mostly related to travel and local transmission from imported cases. Community transmission of the disease has not been documented till now.