India's 1.3 Billion People Are Banned From Leaving Homes at All for 21 Days

March 25, 2020

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India's 1.3 billion people are now banned from leaving their homes for any reason for 21 days, according to The New York Times. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown on Tuesday, four hours before it was to begin. "Every state, every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown," he said. State borders will also be sealed. “If you can’t handle these 21 days, this country and your family will go back 21 years,” Mr. Modi said. “There is no way out to escape from coronavirus besides this.” Without being specific, Mr. Modi said, “all the steps to ensure essential commodities will be maintained.” Only about 500 cases have been confirmed so far, but a former senior army commander says, "with India’s population density and the state of public health infrastructure, we may not be able to handle a large-scale outbreak.” One mother in New Delhi thinks the future is bleak. “The police beat us if we try to step out. We dare not step out even to buy vegetables whose prices have skyrocketed, she said. "The future looks very dark,’’ she added. “If coronavirus does not kill us, hunger will.”