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India on complete lockdown for 21 days
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 22:34 (IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced complete lockdown of India for the next 21 days.
India, Asia's third-largest economy, will halt the normal life for three weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus, a pandemic that has killed nearly 15,000 people around the world.
"There will be a total ban of coming out of your homes,'' Mr. Modi said.
"Every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown,'' he said. "If you can't handle these 21 days, this country will go back 21 years."
"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."
Though the country of 1.3 billion has only reported 519 confirmed cases so far, the fear is that if the deadly virus spreads across the nation, there will be major disaster compared to anywhere else.
"This evening, I had an extensive interaction with doctors, nurses and lab technicians from all over the country. I lauded them for their exceptional efforts to ensure our nation is healthy," Mr. Modi said in his Tweet.
He encouraged people not to panic buy and assured that the Centre and State Governments will make sure all essentials are available.
"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," he tweeted.
In line with the lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a set of guidelines for the next 21 days to curb the spread of the deadly virus.