As the world, including India, remains entangled in the grip of the deadly pandemic coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a major decision to tackle the COVID-19. India will observe a complete lockdown from midnight of March 24 to fight coronavirus COVID-19 for a total of 21 days, announced PM Modi in the evening.
Addressing the nation for the second time in a week, PM Modi said, "From 12 am of March 24 entire country will be on complete lockdown for three weeks (21 days) due to COVID-19," said PM Modi." He added that the lockdown is in a way curfew and would be more stringent than Janata curfew.
India till 10.30 pm on Tuesday (March 24) recorded a total of 519 positive cases of the coronavirus and a death toll of 10 people. The number of active cases worldwide reached 279,213 and the fatal cases stood at 17,451 at 10.30 pm on Tuesday (March 24).
PM Modi appealed to all the people to not venture outside their homes for this period. "One step outside can make way for coronavirus into your house. If we won't follow the nationwide lockdown for 21 days, we will be pushed back by 21 years. With folded hands, I appeal to people not to go out of their homes," added the PM.
The restrictions will apply to several services and establishments but many of them have been exempted from the closure.
1) Government Office, its Autonomous/ Subordinate Offices and Public Corporations shall remain closed.
Exceptions: Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, National Informatics Centre, Early Warning Agencies
2. Offices of the State/ Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies, Corporations, etc. shall remain closed.
Exceptions: a. Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, and prisons. b. District administration and Treasury c. Electricity, water, sanitation d. Municipal bodies—Only staff required for essential services like sanitation, personnel-related to water supply etc
The above offices (SI. No I & 2) should work with a minimum number of employees. All other offices may continue to work-from-home only.
3. Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance etc. will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services be permitted.