Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday announced a full country-wide lockdown, starting from midnight, till 21 days. “If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days, we will be pushed back 21 years,” the PM said in an address to the nation. The number of cases in India has risen to 536, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) confirmed. The death toll across the country stands at 10.
Minutes after the PM’s declaration, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified ration shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain open during the lockdown. The list of exemptions includes delivery of all essential goods, petrol pumps, ATMs and more.
Centre has also warned of legal action against those violating the lockdown which has been enforced till March 31 to curtail the pandemic. Violators could either face a fine of Rs 1,000 or a jail term of six months if they do not abide by the lockdown orders, the government said. All domestic commercial flights would remain suspended from Wednesday to restrict inter-state movement as a precautionary measure.
Globally, 16,572 people have died due to the pandemic and a total of 381,293 positive cases have been confirmed. While Italy has reported the highest number of deaths at 6,077 and the number of positive cases at 63,927, China has reported 3,153 deaths and 81,514 cases so far. Also, Spain has reported 2,311 deaths, Iran 1,812, France 860 and UK 335.