Indian PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation last night and declared a 21-day lockdown in the entire country to curb the infection of SARS COV-2 infection. The lockdown will be in effect up to 14 April.
COVID-19 has already claimed lives of 12 persons in the country. Authorities reported one death each in Delhi, and in Maharashtra on Tuesday, and in Tamil Nadu early Wednesday. Over 500 persons have been infected by the infection uptil now and the number is growing day by day.
In a nationwide television broadcast, Mr. Modi described the pandemic as a huge challenge to every country and referred to the fact that even countries like the U.S. and Italy having good health infrastructure are struggling to control the situation.
“In such a situation we have learnt from the experience of the countries that have managed to get some control over the surge in cases, and these show that a lockdown for a sustained period of time is the only way to break the chain of infection,” he said.
“Draw a Laxman Rekha outside your house door and do not step outside of it. Stay where you are. This will be the decisive battle against coronavirus,” he said.
He cautioned the country with a note, “If we are not able to adhere to this lockdown sincerely for 21 days, believe me, India will go back 21 years.”
“Several families will be destroyed. India is at a stage of the pandemic where our actions will decide our future,” he said.
“While at home you must think of those endangering their lives to combat this pandemic — medical care workers, doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, ambulance drivers who are facing the challenge of treating the disease,” the Prime Minister continued.
“Pray for the sanitation workers cleaning up our neighbourhoods to keep you safe, please think of the media personnel who are braving infection to keep you informed, of policemen enforcing the law while facing, in some cases, your anger,” he added.