New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in second address to the nation with regard to coronavirus pandemic today, announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight. In his the PM stressed that social distancing was the only way out for the country in its decisive battle against the coronavirus.
Any negligence in these 21 days will ‘push the country and your families by 21 years’, Modi said underlining the massive danger the coronavirus poses.
The experience of countries that have been able to contain the virus to some extent and experts’ views have made it clear that social distancing caused by a lockdown is the only way to break the cycle of the infection, Modi said.
“To save India, to save every Indian, there will be a complete ban on people from stepping outside their houses from 12 midnight today. Lockdown is being imposed on every state, Union Territory, district, village, mohalla and street,” he said.
The lockdown will be like ‘curfew’ and more stringent than the ‘janata curfew’, which the country had observed on Sunday, Modi said. He added it will have an economic cost but saving people’s lives was the first priority of the government.
The Prime Minister appealed to people across the country “with folded hands” to abide by the lockdown and asked all to remain in their homes during the period.
The Prime Minister further said that people need not panic about availability of essential commodities and medicines during the 21-day nationwide lockdown as the Centre and state governments will work together to ensure adequate supply of the same throughout the critical period.
The Prime Minister also underlined the importance of social distancing in his address. He asking the media to generate awareness about its importance, inform people about the lockdown decision by states, and also highlight the impact of spread of the virus through inclusion of international data and case studies about other countries in the papers.