India to go under total lockdown as coronaviruse cases rise

A view shows empty roads during a 14-hour long curfew to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease in the country in Ahmedabad

More than 377,300 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 16,520 have died as of today.

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So far, the country has dodged the worst of the global pandemic.

India, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, woke up to an eerie calm on Wednesday, its streets relatively deserted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered everyone indoors for the next three weeks, saying it was the only way to avoid a disaster and effectively shutting down Asia's third-largest economy. The order was issued nearly half an hour after Modi completed his address to the nation. He added that "many families will be destroyed forever" if the country doesn't get a grip on the outbreak, CNN reports.

At present, India has recorded over 519 cases of coronavirus infection with some 10 deaths so far.

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This poses challenges for Indians to effectively implement the quarantine plans including social distancing. Modi emphasised that people aren't allowed to leave their homes, but it's not yet clear what kind of exemptions there might be for buying things like food or medicine, if there are any at all. Walmart Inc's Flipkart has suspended services, the Indian e-commerce firm said in a notice on its website as the lockdown began. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a complete lockdown for 21 days in India.

"For the next few days, forget about going out". One rickshaw driver, who showed bruises on his calf, said he was defying the lockdown because he was unable to feed his four children otherwise.

As a result of a two-month study of these countries as well as insight from experts, Modi declared, "social distancing is the only option to combat (coronavirus), that is to remain apart from each other and stay confined to your homes". "That is to remain apart from each other and stay confined to within your homes".

To a question on the harassment of doctors, nurses and other staff handling coronavirus patients, the Prime Minister said he felt pain. Currently, nations like Italy, France, and the US are fighting a life and death battle to control the spread of the infection.

Critics of the lockdown have noted that it was used to disperse a long-running protest in Dehli against the country's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called "fundamentally discriminatory" against Muslims. Only services will be usable, such as electricity, water, health services, fire services, supermarkets, and civil services. "Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this".

The Indian government has also announced measures to help the population cope with the massive change in their daily lives.

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