Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown across India. Addressing the nation, PM Modi said, it is very important to control the situation at the early stage and people need to understand the importance of social distancing.
“In the last two days, several parts of the country have been put under lockdown. These efforts by State Governments should be taken with utmost sincerity. In light of health sector experts and experiences of other countries, the nation is taking a very important decision today. From midnight tonight onwards, the entire country, please listen carefully, the entire country shall go under complete lockdown. In order to protect the country, and each of its citizens, from midnight tonight, a full ban is being imposed on people from stepping out of their homes. All the States in the country, all the Union Territories, each district, each municipality, each village, each locality is being put under lockdown. This is like a curfew only. This will be a few levels more than Janata-Curfew, and also stricter. This is a necessary step in the decisive fight against Corona Pandemic. The nation will have to certainly pay an economic cost because of this lockdown. However, to save life of each and every Indian is mine, Government of India’s, each state Government’s, each local unit’s top most priority. Hence, It is my plea to you to continue staying wherever you are right now in the country, Modi said.
“Considering the circumstances at present, this lockdown will last 21 days. The next 21 days are of critical importance for us. As per health experts, a period of at least 21 days is extremely critical to break infection chain of Coronavirus. If situation is not handled in these 21 days, the country and your family could go back 21 years. If situation is not handled in these 21 days, several families will get devastated forever. Hence, you must forget what going out means for the next 21 days. Stay inside your home, stay inside your home, and do just one thing- stay inside your home, PM added.
Talking about other countries fighting this pandemic, 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 and that is through Social Distancing,” Modi added.
PM Modi further said, “Maintain physical distance with others and stay within the confines of one’s home. There is no other method or way to escape Coronavirus. If we want to restrict spread of Coronavirus, we will have to break its chain of infection. Some people are under the delusion that social distancing is essential only for sick people. It is wrong to make those assumptions. Social distancing is necessary for each citizen, for each family, and for each member of the family. Carelessness of a few, ill-conceived notions of a few can put you, your children, your parents, your family, your friends, the entire country in grave jeopardy. It will be impossible to estimate the price India will have to pay if this carelessness continues.”
Talking about the nationwide lockdown, PM said, “This decision of a nationwide lockdown that has been taken today has drawn a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ at your doorsteps. You must remember, that a single step outside your home can bring a dangerous pandemic like Corona inside. You must also remember that at times, a person infected with Corona may seem to be completely healthy in the beginning, since it is not evident that the person is infected.Therefore, take necessary precautions and stay inside your homes.”
Citing WHO, PM said, “According to a World Health Organization’s report, a person infected with this virus can transmit this to hundreds of people within the span of 7 to 10 days. This means, that it spreads like wildfire. Another estimate given by the World Health Organization is very important. It took 67 days for the count of people infected with Corona to reach the 1st one lakh all over the world. After this, it took only 11 days for another one lakh people to get infected. Think, it took 67 days for it to infect one lakh people at first, but only 11 days to reach a total of two lakh people. This is even more alarming that it took only 4 days for this disease to reach three lakh people from the count of two lakh. You can imagine how rapidly Coronavirus spreads. Once it begins to spread, it is very difficult to contain it. This is the reason that situation became uncontrollable when Coronavirus started spreading in countries such as China, US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Iran. Also remember, whether it is Italy or US, the healthcare services in these countries are considered to be among the best in the world. Despite this, these countries have not been able to contain the impact of Corona. The question at hand is, where does one see a ray of hope in this situation? What is the solution, what are the options?”
“In the conditions that the Corona global pandemic has created, the Central and State Governments countrywide are working swiftly. We are constantly striving to ensure that citizen do not face much inconvenience in their daily life. We have made provisions to ensure that supplies of all essential items continue smoothly. This crisis has certainly brought on a very difficult time for the poor. Along with the Central and State Governments, individuals from civil societies and institutions are constantly striving to reduce the problems of the poor. Several people are collaborating their efforts to help the poor,” PM said.
Modi said that in addition to the basic necessities, lifesaving necessities have to be given top most priority. “In order to tackle this novel pandemic, the Central Government is constantly working towards better equipping the healthcare facilities of the country. The Government has been taking decisions on the advice of the World Health Organization, country’s top medical and research organizations and top health experts. The Central Government has put in place a provision of 15 thousand crores for treating the Coronavirus patients and strengthening the medical infrastructure of the country. This will allow for quickly boosting the number of Corona testing facilities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Isolation Beds, ICU beds, ventilators and other essential equipment. Simultaneously, training of medical and paramedical manpower will also be undertaken. I have requested the State Governments to ensure that healthcare is the topmost priority at the moment.”
Modi also asked people to refrain from taking medication without consultation, he said, “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.”
Modi also asked people not to do panic buying, he said, “By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19. No panic buying please. Please stay indoors. I repeat- Centre and State Governments will ensure all essentials are available.”