India declares 21-day ’total lockdown’ as coronavirus cases rise

24 March 2020 10:06 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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India's 1.3 billion people will go under "total lockdown" for 21 days to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, warning that anyone going outside risked inviting the virus inside their homes, and pledging $2bn to bolster the country's beleaguered healthcare system, Aljazeera reported.

"From 12 midnight today [1830 GMT Tuesday], the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown," Modi said on Tuesday in a televised address, his second in a week.
"To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family... every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown," he said, putting nearly one-fifth of the world's population under lockdown.

India has lagged behind other nations in the number of COVID-19 cases, but there has been a sharp increase in recent days to 519 infections, including 10 deaths, according to the government.

Earlier on Tuesday, police enforced lockdowns across large parts of India put under curfew, as health officials warned that the coronavirus was spreading out of big cities, where it first appeared, into smaller towns.

Health researchers have warned that more than a million people in India could be infected with the coronavirus by mid-May

India has already severed international flight links and will stop domestic air services at midnight in a bid to halt the spread.
There are fears in India about the virus spreading into impoverished communities and the ability of resource-starved public health sectors to cope.

A health official in the western state of Maharashtra said new cases were starting to appear in small towns after a first wave emerged in big cities like Mumbai.

"This trend is worrying as rural areas have limited infrastructure to deal with the outbreak," said the state health official who declined to be identified, saying he was not authorised to speak to journalists.

States have been imposing their own lockdowns and have been suspending train and bus services and ordering traffic off the roads.

A new concern in the northern Indian state of Punjab was the risk of infection from an estimated 90,000 overseas Indians who had travelled back to their ancestral homeland, the state government's top health official, Balbir Singh Sidhu.

Many people from Punjab live in Britain, the United States and Canada and travel back in the cool winter to visit.

A team of scientists based mainly in the US said this week that India's tally of infections could jump to 1.3 million by mid-May if the virus maintains its rate of spread.

"Even with the best-case scenarios, probably, you are in a very painful crisis," said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan who was involved in the study.

More than 377,300 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally, and 16,520 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

  Comments - 7

  • John Wednesday, 25 March 2020 12:13 AM

    Countries that are in lockdown have done it humanely except this extreme lockdown of 24 hour curfew for three weeks in India. Indians are a different set of people.

    Qed Wednesday, 25 March 2020 12:09 PM

    These are difficult times. Very difficult decisions to be made. Very easy to point fingers.

    Raj Wednesday, 25 March 2020 12:45 AM

    Corona Virus in India like a time bomb tik tik tik...

    sam silva Wednesday, 25 March 2020 03:42 AM

    Please do the same and do not delay any further.

    Lankan Wednesday, 25 March 2020 06:17 AM

    Good move. But I weep for the innocent people who depend on a daily income to feed their families and cannot afford to stock up on rations for 21 days.

    Somapala, ex Navy. Wednesday, 25 March 2020 08:13 PM

    Daily Mirror supposed to be a Sri Lankan paper but essentially it looks after the interest of India. You never allow any critical comment against India, in the rare number of times you do allow critical comments against India, YOU MAKE SURE SOMEONE REBUTS THE COMMENTS IMMEDIATELY . I HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR DAILY MIRROR, PLEASE TAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES AND RELOCATE TO INDIA. WE DO NOT WANT YOU IN OUR COUNTRY. PLEASE GO !

    Sures Thursday, 26 March 2020 09:25 AM

    Somapala, Majority of people in our country would agree with you 100%. People are surprised the role Daily Mirror is playing in protecting the interests of India. I also would join Somapala and urge the Daily Mirror to get out of our country and go to India, the land of Rapes and Murders.


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