Addressing the nation for the second time in less than a week, Prime Minister
called for a nationwide
starting midnight to contain the novel
. The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days, added Modi. Explaining the reason behind this major step, Modi said that it was necessitated due the severity of the situation. The total cases of coronavirus has surpassed 500 in India.
Reiterating the importance of social distancing, he said, we can only prevent new cases and contain the virus through it. India may have to pay a big price due to the negligence of a few. “To stop coronavirus, stay at a distance from each other and stay inside your houses,” he said.
“If we don’t handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years,” Modi added underscoring the importance of self-isolation and social distancing.
There will be complete bar on people from stepping outsides their homes, he said and even folded his hands to emphasise his request to citizens to adhere to the call.
Reasons behind central government’s decision on a nationwide lockdown
1. The COVID-19 epidemic has affected many countries and the World Health Organisation has declared it ‘Pandemic’.
2. Government of India (GOI) has been taking several proactive preventive and mitigating measures starting with progressive tightening of international travel, issue of advisories for the members of the public, setting up quarantine facilities, contact tracing of persons infected by the virus and various social distancing measures. Several advisories have been issued to States and Union Territories (UTs) for taking necessary measures to contain the spread of this virus. Government have temporarily suspended metro and rail services as well as domestic air traffic.
3. The situation has been continuously reviewed at the level of Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Hon’ble Prime Minister has addressed the Nation on the need for preventive measures and has also held meeting with all the Chief Ministers through video conference.
4. Experts, keeping in view the global experiences of countries which have been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 unlike some others where thousands of people died, have recommended that effective measures for social distancing should be taken to contain the spread of this pandemic.
Urging the state government to make fight against coronavirus their top priority, Modi announced Rs 15000 crore fund to test coronavirus, isolation beds, ventilators, and other essential facilities needed to battle this virus.
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,
The PM had first officially addressed the nation on Thursday, briefing citizens about the pandemic and measures that they could take to prevent the spread of the outbreak in the country. He had called for a ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday in his address.
During his last address, Modi also announced that the Centre had created a ‘Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force’ under the Union Finance Minister to manage the economic repercussions of the current situation.
Earlier in the day, Indian Finance Minister Sitharaman had announced a series of measures to deal with the economic crash as India, along with the rest of the world is battling to contain the virus.
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