India to be under complete lockdown for 21 days starting midnight: Narendra Modi
All essential services will continue. List of essential services remains unchanged since 'Janta Curfew', he said.
Addressing the nation for the second time in less than a week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a nationwide lockdown starting midnight to contain the novel coronavirus . The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days, added Modi. Providing a rationale behind this major step, Modi said that it was necessitated due the severity of the situation.
Reiterating the importance of social distancing, he said, we can only prevent new cases and contain the virus through it. India may have to pay a big price due to the negligence of a few. "To stop coronavirus, stay at a distance from each other and stay inside your houses," he said.
"If we don't handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years," Modi added underscoring the importance of self-isolation and social distancing.
There will be complete bar on people from stepping outsides their homes, he said and even folded his hands to emphasise his request to citizens to adhere to the call.
Urging the state government to make fight against coronavirus their top priority, Modi announced Rs 15000 crore fund to test Corona, isolation beds, ventilators, and other essential facilities needed to battle this virus.
Experts and the experience of countries fighting the deadly virus make it clear that the social distancing is the only way to combat the disease, PM asserted.
The PM had first officially addressed the nation on Thursday, briefing citizens about the pandemic and measures that they could take to prevent the spread of the outbreak in the country. He had called for a ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday in his address.
During his last address, Modi also announced that the Centre had created a ‘Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force’ under the Union Finance Minister to manage the economic repercussions of the current situation.
Earlier in the day, Indian Finance Minister Sitharaman had announced a series of measures to deal with the economic crash as India, along with the rest of the world is battling to contain the virus.