Irem GÖL -TDO- India has mounted the largest attempted lockdown yet in the coronavirus crisis, ordering 1.3 billion people to stay at home from midnight for three weeks to prevent a pulic health disaster. In a televised adress on Tuesday night, the prime minister, Narenda Modi, announced that for the next 21 days, almost one fifth of the world’s population should “forget what going out means.” Modi said: “From 12 midnight today, the entire country will go under a complete lockdown to save India and for very Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes. Therefore, I request you to remain wherever you are in this country.”
So far India has had a relatively low number of coronavirus cases, with 469 infections and 10 deaths. Yet, the government had already introduced stringent measures to try to halt local transmission in a country where millions live in densely populated conditions with terrible sanitation and limited healthcare access. There are currently only 40,000 ventilators in India, one isolation bed per 84,000 people and one doctor per 11,600 Indians. However, more than 1.8 million people across the country are being monitored because they have shown symptoms of the illness, travelled abroad or being exposed to confirmed cases.