Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced in a public address on Tuesday evening that he would be issuing an order for a mandatory three week home confinement policy to combat the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From midnight today, the entire country will go under a complete lockdown,” Prime Minister Modi said.
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“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes. Every state, every union territory, every district, every village, and every locality is being put under lockdown.”
Previously, on March 22, in a separate public address, the Modi urged citizens to adhere to the directions surrounding the “Janta Curfew,” from 7 am to 9 pm in which all individuals, except for those involved in essential services, would not be permitted to leave their homes.
Modi said that this would be a symbol of the Indian people’s “self-restraint and determination to perform duty in the national interest.”
In his address on Tuesday, the Prime Minister commended the people of India for following the curfew, stating that their efforts showed that when the country and humanity faces a state of extreme adversity, the people of India come together to combat it.
The prime minister continued that he and his people have been observing the impacts of coronavirus, not only at home, but around the world. He does not believe that it is a lack of resources or effort stopping countries from defeating the virus.
Instead, it is because the coronavirus is spreading so quickly that, despite all the best efforts, the challenge to combat it is increasing.
As a result of a two-month study of these countries as well as insight from experts, Modi declared, “social distancing is the only option to combat (coronavirus), that is to remain apart from each other and stay confined to your homes.”
He said he understands the economic toll that this lockdown will take on the country but that saving the lives of “each and every Indian” is his first priority.
As of right now, the lockdown will be enforced for 21 days.
“If we are not able to manage this pandemic in the next 21 days, the country and your family will be setback by 21 years. If we are not able to manage for the next 21 days, then many families will be destroyed forever.”
Modi said his government is taking precautions to ensure that there is no difficulty in day-to-day life and that they are taking all the necessary steps to ensure a continuous stream of essential supplies.
“I am confident that every citizen in this time of crisis will follow the directions of the government and local administration,” Modi concludes.
“Twenty-one days of lockdown is a long time, but this is important for your safety and for (the) safety of your family. I am confident that India will not only successfully tackle this challenge, but also emerge victorious in this time of crisis.”
The full press conference can be seen below: