Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address on Tuesday, called for a national lockdown from midnight on March 24 for 21 days.
“From 12 midnight, the whole country will go on lockdown. To save India, to save all citizens of India, to save you and your family, there will be a total ban on stepping out of home,” he said.
“This is in effect a curfew…a step ahead of Janata curfew,” he added.
He said all arrangements for essential services “are in place and will be in place in the days to come,” without going into details. “Do just one thing, stay at home,” said the prime minister.
“Draw a Laxman Rekha around your house. A step outside can draw the pandemic to your house,” he added, citing examples of how “a few countries” have been able to shed the pandemic’s effects by imposing strict lockdowns.
He held up a banner which, in Hindi, broke down the consonants of the word ‘corona’… into the adage, ‘koi road par na nikle.’ ‘No one set out.’
“It will take time to show signs. In 10 days, it can reach hundreds from one person,” Modi said. “It took 67 days for the disease to reach the first 1 lakh, then in 11 days it touched 2 lakh,” he said.