Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus – declaring that no one will be allowed to leave their homes.
“From 12 midnight today, the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,” Modi said in a television address to the 1.3 billion people in the world’s second most-populous nation.
“To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family … every street, every neighborhood is being put under lockdown,” he added in the strictest stay-at-home order yet in the world’s fight against the deadly bug.
He added ominously that if the country failed to manage the crisis in the next 21 days, it would be set back by 21 years.
“I am not saying this as your prime minister, I am saying it as your fellow citizen, family member,” Modi added.
India has lagged behind other countries in the number of infections, but there has been a sharp spike in recent days to 519 cases, including 10 deaths, officials said.
The country has already banned flights from abroad for a week from Sunday — and grounded domestic flights and shut ports.
Indian Railways, which carries more than 20 million passengers daily, has canceled all services except suburban and freight trains.
With Post wires
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