In his address to the nation on March 24, PM Modi announced that starting midnight on March 24, the entire country will be under complete lockdown for the next 21 days to counter the Coronavirus. Soon after, the Home Ministry released detailed guidelines on the measures to be taken by the central and state level to contain COVID-19 epidemic. According to the official guidelines, all commercials and private establishments will be closed down with a few exceptions. However, food and groceries shops will remain open.
The detailed guidelines released by the MHA states, "All commercials and private establishments will be closed." Exceptions:
- Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder. However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.
As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an unprecedented national lockdown for the next 21 days, a panic button was triggered across the country as reports of people rushing to buy groceries and essentials began surfacing. In a few minutes after his address, PM Modi urged the people not to indulge in panic buying.
PM Modi urged people not to panic and assured citizens that there will be no shortage of essential commodities and medicines during the 21-day lockdown period. "There is absolutely no need to panic," PM Modi said in a tweet "Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this," he said.
My fellow citizens,— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2020
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PANIC.
Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this.
Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India.
Advising people not to hoard essential items, PM Modi said, "By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of Covid-19. No panic buying, please. Please stay indoors." According to the Health Ministry, India has reported about 562 Coronavirus cases in India, with 512 active cases. Eleven people have died so far due to the deadly virus.