India coronavirus: Modi announces 21-day nationwide lockdown, limiting movement of 1.4bn people
India‘s prime minister Narendra Modi has declared the country will go into a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Tuesday, lasting for 21 days.
Lockdown measures were already in place from Monday in many major cities, but will now be extended to “every village, every district” in the nation, the prime minister said.
Speaking in a televised national address, Mr Modi told Indians to “forget what it feels like to leave your homes”.
“Twenty-one days of lockdown is a long time but this is important for your safety and for the safety of your family,” he said.
“I am confident India will not only successfully tackle this challenge but also emerge victorious at this time of crisis. Take care of yourself and take care of your near and dear.”
Mr Modi said the central government was committing Rs 15,000 crore (£1.7bn) for strengthening health facilities and acquiring more isolation units and ventilators.
He said the lockdown, which will impact around 1.4 billion people, was being implemented on the advice of the World Health Organisation, as well as India’s own medical institutes and health experts.
And he urged state governments, which under India’s federal system have responsibility for healthcare, “that at this time their first priority should be health services and only health services”.
This story has not been edited by Abhi Khabar Tak Staff.
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