PM Modi announces nationwide 21-day lockdown, appeals for social distancing

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi announced a 21-day national “curfew” or lockout on Tuesday to contain the spread of COVID-19. He called on people to “join hands” to practice strict social distancing.

Following the Prime Minister’s speech, the Union’s Interior Ministry, in an unprecedented decision, announced the closure of all public and private establishments, except those involved in essential services and all modes of transportation, for the duration of isolation.

The Prime Minister has declared that if the 1.3 billion people of India do not practice social distancing and that the “chain of its spread has not been broken” in these 21 days, the epidemic of coronavirus could push the country back 21 years and many families would be devastated forever.

The national lockdown came into effect at midnight Tuesday and will continue until April 14.

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The Prime Minister’s announcement led people to panic to buy in several places across the country.

Shortly after the speech, Modi tweeted interior ministry directives that all essential services and supplies would be maintained for the duration of the foreclosure. He called on the people not to panic.

Orkers spray disinfectant in a residential area to contain the spread of the coronavirus. PTI

“By converging around stores, you risk the spread of COVID-19. No panic purchase please. Please stay inside. I repeat: the central and state governments will ensure that all the essentials are available, “the Prime Minister tweeted.

“My fellow citizens, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR PANIC. Essential products, medicines, etc. would be available. The center and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this. Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India. Jai Hind! ”He tweeted.

The Prime Minister said that the Center had allocated 15,000 crore rupees to strengthen the country’s health infrastructure.

This will be used to increase testing capacity, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation and intensive care beds, ventilators and other resources to combat the pandemic.

He said the fund would also be used for training doctors and paramedics.


Passengers on a train after locking at New Delhi railway station. Photo: PTI

“Co-ro-na yaani koi road by na nikle,” said the Prime Minister in his speech, displaying a sign in Hindi. He said the pandemic has brought several developed countries, such as Italy and the United States, to its knees, with some of the best healthcare infrastructure in the world.

In a 29-minute speech to the nation, his second in a week on the pandemic, the Prime Minister praised the people for making Sunday’s “Janata Curfew” a success. He said, however, that the 21-day lockout would be a stricter “curfew” where they should not cross the “lakshman rekha” or the threshold of their homes.

Most states and union territories are currently locked out at least until March 31, and the Prime Minister’s announcement extends it by two weeks. “Jaan hai toh jahan hai (the world only exists when we live),” he said, recalling a Hindi idiom to underscore the urgency of his appeal.

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“To save India, to save every Indian, there will be a total ban on leaving their homes starting at noon today,” he said. “The foreclosure is enforced in every state, union territory, district, village, mohalla and street,” said the prime minister.

Amid reports that some people have used self-medication to treat the disease, Modi warned people not to take any medication without the doctor’s advice.

He said there would be a huge economic cost because of the foreclosure, but it had to be done to save India, to save every Indian citizen.


Modi called on the public to follow the advice and instructions of the Center and the state governments.

“Remember that people infected with the coronavirus initially appear healthy and have no symptoms of the infection,” said Modi.

“It took 67 days (COVID) to infect a lakh at first, but only 11 days to reach a total of two lakhs. This is all the more alarming since it only took four days for this disease to reach three lakh people on the account of two lakh. If we want to limit the spread of the coronavirus, we will have to break its chain of infection, “said the Prime Minister, showing data from the World Health Organization.

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Modi said that when the coronavirus spread to countries such as China, the United States, France, Germany, Spain and Iran, their systems collapsed under the weight of the number of patients.

“Remember that the health infrastructure in Italy and the United States is one of the best in the world, and despite the fact that these countries have been unable to control the spread of the coronavirus,” said Modi. He said India was at a point where the next 21 days would decide its future.


He asked people to spare a thought to those who risked their lives to provide essential services – doctors, nurses, police officers, cleaning of public places and media professionals.

The Prime Minister said that the Center and state governments work 24 hours a day to ensure that people receive essential supplies. He said that this dark period was going to be a difficult period for the poorest, but that the priority right now was to save lives.

Modi said he had asked state governments to focus on providing health care to people. He said private sector cooperation in this hour of need was a matter of satisfaction and that private hospitals and laboratories were helping government efforts.

PM asked people not to be misled by the rumors.

He lamented that some people suffer from the mistaken state of mind that only infected people should follow social isolation, warning that such a vision could endanger the lives of others and their loved ones.

“It will be impossible to estimate the price that India will have to pay if this recklessness continues. Currently, India is at a stage where our current actions will determine to what extent we can minimize the impact of this disaster, “he said.


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