Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday that the country will enter a 21-day lockdown, beginning at midnight. This lockdown is the world's largest.
Modi said in a televised announcement that the move is essential to containing the spread of the coronavirus. “There will be a total ban of coming out of your homes,’‘ said Modi.
Modi also added that if the country failed to control the outbreak in the next 21 days, the country will “go back 21 years.”
Immediately following Modi's address, Indians flocked to grocery stores. The Indian media is referring to this as ‘panic buying.’
In response, Modi appealed to his constituents on social media, asking them "to remain calm and not to panic."
“Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this,” he tweeted.
The lockdown is widely welcomed by Indians on social media.
“We are now at a collective turning point, where we must stop, listen & help the government implement the 21 days all India lockdown,” wrote prominent Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. “The time of great fear requires solidarity, humanity, sacrifice & hope. Not hysteria & rumor mongering.”
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