The UN has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against coronavirus, with a top official at the world body's health agency praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day nationwide lockdown as a "comprehensive and robust" response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 18,915 with more than 422,900 cases reported in over 165 countries and territories, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The number of coronavirus cases in India stood at 562 on Wednesday with nine COVID-19 deaths reported so far, according to Health Ministry data. In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks.
"United Nations stands in solidarity with India in its fight against COVID-19," said a video message tweeted by United Nations News on Tuesday, the UN's multimedia news service.
The video also took note of the 'Janta Curfew' observed across India on Sunday, when the country's 1.3 billion citizens stayed at home from 7 am to 9 pm in an effort to practise social distancing.
Heeding to a call by Modi, people came out on their balconies, windows and courtyards to applaud the selfless work of medical professionals on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.
The normally bustling streets across India wore a deserted look throughout the day as people participated in the curfew. The UN News video showed footage of empty roads and urban spaces on Sunday, just two days before Modi announced the nationwide lockdown for three weeks.
"India is on a 21-day lockdown to try and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from taking hold. The @UN health agency @WHO urged the Gov to take 'aggressive action'," UN News tweeted.