All of India is now subject to a 21-day lockdown in face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as cases rise to well in excess of 400,000 worldwide.
At the time of writing, there have been 439,654 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide with 19,744 lives lost as a result. In India, cases number at 606 while the country reported its tenth fatality earlier this week.
Presently, 111,877 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease. There are 307,969 currently-infected patients, of whom 294,544 (96 percent) are in mild condition and 13,425 (four percent) are in serious or critical condition. 42 Indians have recovered from COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day lockdown during an address to the nation yesterday. The restrictions came into force at midnight. Modi informed citizens “there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes.” The 21-day lockdown, he said, is “a necessary step in the decisive fight against corona pandemic.” Multiple states and union territories had already taken the steps of imposing lockdowns due to COVID-19.
Modi emphasised the importance of respecting the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown. Explaining the rationale behind the lockdown, Modi said “all of you are also witnessing how the most advanced countries of the world have been rendered absolutely helpless by this pandemic. It is not that these countries are not putting in adequate efforts or they lack resources. The Coronavirus is spreading at such a rapid pace that despite all the preparations and efforts, these countries are finding it hard to manage the crisis.
“The analysis of happenings in all these countries since the last two months, and the opinion of experts has proved that there is only one way to effectively deal with Coronavirus – social distancing.”
Modi used his address to draw attention to the country’s workers. “It is my plea to you, that while you are staying at home, you must think about and pray for the wellbeing of people who are fulfilling their duties, who are exposing themselves to great risk,” he exhorted. “Think about the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, pathologists who are working day and night in hospitals to save each and every life. Think about hospital administration staff, ambulance drivers, ward boys, sanitation workers who are working to serve others in these difficult conditions.
“Pray for those people who are working to sanitise your society, your locality, your streets, and public places to ensure that this virus is eradicated completely. Think about the media persons as well who are working round the clock and risking infection while reporting from the streets and hospitals. Think about the Police force around you, who are working relentlessly without worrying about the welfare of their family. They are working day and night to save you and, on several occasions, also bearing the wrath of the public.”
Modi acknowledged the 21-day lockdown would be difficult, but underlined its necessity.
“It is extremely important for you to abide by the instructions and advice given by the Central and State Governments and the medical fraternity. I request you not to take any medication without consulting doctors if you are showing any symptoms of this infection. Any sort of medical experiment can put your life to great risk.
“Friends, I am confident that every Indian will abide by the instructions of the Government and local authorities during this crucial hour. 21 days of lockdown is a long time, but it is equally essential for your safety and that of your family. I am confident that every Indian will not only successfully fight this difficult situation but also emerge victorious.”