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National News

Mar 25, 2020
7:58AM

Govt announces complete nationwide lockdown for 21 days to fight COVID-19

PTI
Government has announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days to fight COVID-19. All road, rail and air services  will remain suspended during the lockdown, which came into force midnight last night. However, freight movement will continue to carry essential commodities across the country. Essential services like Medical shops, Petrol pumps, grocery stores  milk booths, and online shopping have been exempted from the lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Central allocation of 15,000 crore rupees to strengthen the health infrastructure to tackle the disease. In his second address to the nation in less than a week, Modi said there will be a complete ban on people from stepping outside their houses to save India and to save every Indian. He showed a poster saying corona means 'Koi Road Par Na Nikle' (No one should come out on roads). Mr Modi said, 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 'janta curfew'. Mr Modi said it is applicable to everyone from the prime minister to a citizen in a village. Prime Minister said, if we don't handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years. Mr Modi asserting that the tough measure is necessary for a decisive battle against the coronavirus outbreak.

Acknowledging that the decision will have an economic cost, Modi said saving people's lives is of the paramount interest to his government. He also made a vigorous push for enforcing social distancing as the only way to tackle the coronavirus. Mr Modi said, 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.

Addressing fears that there could be a shortage of essential commodities and medicines, the prime minister said there  is absolutely no need to panic. “Centre and states will work together to ensure availability of essential commodities, medicines. Mr Modi also urged people not to indulge in panic buying, saying that by converging around shops, they are risking the spread of COVID-19. 

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