Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his second address to the nation in just one week, imposed a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country from March 25 (12 AM) onwards till April 14. The PM's announcement comes in the backdrop of a rising number of COVID-19 patients in the country. There have been 536 confirmed cases across India and 10 reported deaths so far, according to Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). With a nationwide lockdown, India's 1.3 billion population joins a growing list of countries that have imposed similar measures like Spain, Italy, New Zealand and others. In his first address on March 19, PM Modi had enforced a day-long lockdown, also known as 'Janata Curfew'.
Here are significant quotes from PM Modi's speech on a 21-day lockdown:
1.Stay at home: Every state, district, village in India is under lockdown from midnight (March 25). There will be a complete bar on people from stepping outsides their homes, PM Modi said. He even folded his hands to emphasise his request to citizens to adhere to the call.
2. Economic cost: PM Modi said the decision will have an economic cost but saving people's lives is of paramount interest to his government. He stated, "If we don't handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backward by 21 years".
3. Draw Lakshman Rekha: PM Modi told people to draw Lakshman Rekha on their entry doors. "Just do one thing, stay at home! Today's decision of countrywide lockdown has drawn a Lakshman Rekha around the door of your house," said PM Modi.
4.Significance of 21-day lockdown: PM Modi explained why he imposed a 21-day lockdown. The PM stated, "It took 67 days for the first lakh people to be infected from coronavirus. It only took 11 days for the next 1 lakh to be infected. Even more scary is the fact that it took only four days for the figure to rise to 3 lakhs".
5. Rs 15,000 crore announcement: PM Modi announced Rs 15,000 crore stimulus to fight COVID-19. "To strengthen the health infrastructure of the country, the central government has made a provision of Rs 15,000 crores," PM said. "This includes testing facilities related to coronavirus, personal protective equipment, isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilators. The number of other necessary equipment will be increased rapidly," he added.
6. Avoid rumours: PM Modi appealed to all citizens to avoid believing in rumours or fake news. He also advised people to not take any medicines without consulting doctors.
7. Pray for health workers: PM Modi asked every Indian to think of the welfare of several essential service staff at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. "Think of those doctors, those nurses, the para-medical staff, pathologists who are working day and night in order to save lives. Pray for those who are working nonstop to keep your neighborhoods and the society sanitized. Think of the media persons who are working in life-threatening situations to bring you accurate news 24/7," he said.
8. Social distancing: Social distancing is the only way to combat novel coronavirus. Social distancing is not only for infected people but for every citizen, including the Prime Minister, said Modi.
9. Every Indian is my family: PM Modi said protecting the lives of Indians was his top priority. "I am speaking this not as a prime minister today, but like your family member. Please patiently follow the 21-day lockdown. To save the lives of every Indian is my, the state government and the central government's biggest priority".