New Delhi: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has announced a complete lock down across India, starting 12am on March 25 for 21 days.
In a virtual and live address to the nation, posted on his social media channels, Modi said that the ban will be active on everyone in the country for 21 days.
"It took 67 days for the [COVID-19] infections to get to 100,000, but only 11 days to get to the next 100,000...and just 4 days to get to the next 100,000 i.e a total of 300,000..." he added, talking about the infection rate of the new coronavirus. He emphasised the inability of developed nations around the world to effectively curb infections despite the use of state-of-the-art healthcare systems and resources owing to the high infection rate of the virus.
Modi said that the ray of hope in the pandemic arises out of the examples of those nations which have successfully curbed or controlled the infections. The global confirmed cases have crossed 390,000 as of March 24.
"We can only be safe from the coronavirus if we stay within the boundaries of our home," Modi said in his address to the nation on Tuesday evening.
He said that based on health experts, a minimum 21-day cycle is crucial in breaking the cycle of infections, adding, "If we are not able to manage for the next 21 days, then many families will be destroyed forever."
He also hailed the front liners in the battle against COVID-19 and urged people to "pray for those who put their lives at risk for us every day."
"We are making efforts to make sure daily life remains undisturbed otherwise," he added. Modi said that the seamless supply of essential products and services have continued and will continue.
Talking about widespread misinformation Modi urged people to only get information from credible sources with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Modi ended his 30-minute address saying, "Take care of yourself, take care of your near and dear ones."
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 519 on Tuesday, according to Health Ministry data. According to the figures updated at 5.45 pm, the number of active COVID-19 cases are 470 while 40 people have been cured, discharged or migrated.
The figure includes 43 foreign nationals and the nine deaths reported so far, the Health Ministry said. Kerala reported 14 fresh cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 105. A health worker is among those affected, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a review meeting this evening.