The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed. India announced a countrywide lockdown. New York, now the center of the outbreak in America, braces for a flood of patients.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a “complete” lockdown for India’s 1.3 billion people on Tuesday, warning that “many families will be destroyed forever” if the country didn’t get to grips with its coronavirus outbreak in the next three weeks.
Modi said the lockdown would start at midnight local time, would last for a minimum of 21 days, and would apply to all of India’s 36 states and territories.”
India is the world’s second most populous country and the fifth biggest economy, but so far, it has appeared to avoid the full hit of the pandemic. The country has confirmed 519 coronavirus cases, including 10 deaths and 39 patients who have been cured, according to the Ministry of Health.
A number of Indian states have ordered lockdowns in the past few days, in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading. International borders have been shut to most travelers coming from the Europe.A protest against the country’s Citizenship Amendment Act at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh was cleared by the police on Tuesday after the government prohibited all public gatherings in the city.
Hundreds of women have been protesting at the site for months, expressing their solidarity with protesters who have been allegedly assaulted by police.
“From 12 midnight today, the entire country will go under a complete lockdown to save India and for every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes. Therefore, I request you to remain wherever you are in this country,” Modi added.
Only essential services will be operational. These include water, electricity, health services, fire services, groceries and municipal services.
All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship will be closed and interstate buses and metros will be suspended. Construction activity will also be on a halt during this period. Modi said if the outbreak was not dealt with properly it could set the country back decades.
Separately, India’s Labor Ministry has advised all territories to to help construction workers who are out of work because of the outbreak. The vast majority of the country’s construction workers are considered as informal labor and earn their livelihood through daily wages. Around 35 million construction workers across the country are registered with construction welfare boards.