INDIAN PRIME MINISTER Shri Narendra Modi has ordered a 21-day shutdown of the country to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Modi said the measure would have an impact on the nation’s economy, but it was necessary to fight the disease.
India has reported 469 active cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths, according to the Associated Press.
In a televised address, Modi said other advanced nations had been thrown into disarray by the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“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 prime minister said. “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.”
Social distancing is the only way to fight the virus at this time, Modi said, and carelessness could “put you, your children, your parents, your family, your friends and the entire country in grave jeopardy.”
He recognized the shutdown the measure would take to the Indian economy and pledged $2 billion to balance that loss.
“To save the life of each and every Indian is our top most priority,” Modi said. “India is at a stage where our current actions will determine how much we are able to minimize the impact of this disaster. It’s time to consistently keep strengthening our resolve. It’s time to exercise caution at every step. You have to remember that Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai. This is the time for patience and discipline. Until the lockdown situation remains, we must keep our resolve, we must keep our promise.”
The situation is a significant change from last month when Modi welcomed President Donald Trump to the country.