New Delhi, March 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, which could come into effect from midnight. Every state and union territory will have to adhere to the lockdown, Modi announced, adding that it should be considered as a curfew. "From midnight today, no one will be allowed to step out of their houses. This is being done in your interest, to save the life of each and every Indian," he said. The PM, however, assured that "all steps will be taken" to ensure the supply of essential goods including food items. Catch All Updates From PM Modi's Address.
The lockdown will remain for a period of 21 days, adding that this is a step ahead of the janata curfew which was imposed on Sunday. "The one-day janata curfew showed how we Indians come together and fight against any trouble which comes before the country and the mankind," Modi said, adding that the fight against COVID-19 requires more than a day-long curfew. Complete Lockdown in India For 21 Days: 'Social Distancing is Only Option to Combat Coronavirus,' Says PM Narendra Modi.
"In the view of the current situation, the nationwide complete lockdown will be in place for 21 days - 3 week," Modi said. "If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days (of nationwide complete lockdown), we will be pushed back 21 years," the Prime Minister added.
PM Modi Holds Placard to Send His Message Across
You have to remember that a Coronavirus infected person initially appears to be normal and doesn't show symptoms. So maintain precautions and stay at home: PM Narendra Modi #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/bGN50NBsXQ
— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2020
"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," Modi further added. The Prime Minister also stated that the central government is sanctioning immediate monetary allocations towards the medical facilities in wake of the coronavirus crisis.
"Central govt has made an allocation of Rs 15,000 crore for strengthening the health infrastructure in the country. We will be able to increase the number of testing facilities, personal protection equipment, isolation wards, ICU beds & more essentials using these funds," he said.
The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed the 500-mark on Tuesday. The death toll also climbed to 10, as a 65-year-old man in Mumbai - who had returned from the UAE - succumbed to death while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Kasturba Hospital. Among states, the worst affected is Maharashtra, where the number of coronavirus cases crossed the 100-mark. The state also accounts for four of the 10 deaths in the nation so far.
A total of 32 states/UTs have been pressed under a lockdown to curb the transmission of virus. While the number of COVID-19 positive cases are expected to continue to surge, with more people getting tested in the next few days, an optimistic note was sounded from Delhi where no coronavirus case was reported in the last 24 hours.
Globally, the pandemic has wreaked a havoc with over 395,000 people being infected with the virus across the globe. The death toll had crossed 17,000 by the time this report was published. The most number of deaths were reported in Italy, where over 6,000 have died so far, followed by China, Iran, Spain and the United States.