Sunday, 14th July 2024

India declares 21-day 'total lockdown' as coronavirus cases rise

Sunday, 7th July 2024

India's 1.3 billion people will go under "total lockdown" for 21 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, warning that anyone going outside risked inviting the virus inside their homes, and pledging $2bn to bolster the country's beleaguered healthcare system.

"From midnight today [1830 GMT Tuesday], the whole country is going to be in lockdown, total lockdown," Modi said on Tuesday in a very televised address, his second in a very week.

"To save India, to save lots of its every citizen, you, your family, every street, every neighbourhood is being dosed lockdown," he said, putting nearly one-fifth of the world's population under lockdown.India has lagged behind other nations within the number of COVID-19 cases, but there has been a pointy increase in recent days to 519 infections, including ten deaths, in line with the govt.

Earlier on Tuesday, police enforced lockdowns across large parts of India does curfew, as health officials warned that the coronavirus was spreading out of massive cities, where it first appeared, into smaller towns.

Health researchers have warned that over 1,000,000 people in India may well be infected with the coronavirus by mid-May

India has already severed flight links and can stop domestic air services in the dark in a very bid to halt the spread.

Fears of virus spreading

There are fears in India about the virus spreading into impoverished communities and therefore, the ability of resource-starved public health sectors to cope.

A health official within the western state of Maharashtra said new cases were commencing to appear in small towns after a primary wave emerged in big cities like Mumbai.

"This trend is worrying as rural areas have limited infrastructure to cater to the outbreak," said the state health official who declined to be identified, speaking he wasn't authorised to talk to journalists.

States are imposing their lockdowns and are suspending train and bus services and ordering traffic off the roads.

A new concern within the northern Indian state of Punjab was the chance of infection from an estimated 90,000 overseas Indians who had travelled back to their ancestral homeland, the state government's top health official, Balbir Singh Sidhu.

Many people from Punjab sleep in Britain, US. And Canada and travel back within the cold winter to visit.

A team of scientists based mainly within the US said that India's tally of infections could jump to 1.3 million by mid-May if the virus maintains its rate of spread.

"Even with the best-case scenarios, probably, you're in a harrowing crisis," said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan who was involved within the study.

More than 377,300 people are infected by the coronavirus globally, and 16,520 have died, in line with a Reuters tally.