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World's Biggest Lockdown Is Going Into Place

India will try to keep 1.3B people at home
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2020 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The most ambitious national lockdown yet goes into effect at midnight in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation of 1.3 billion on Tuesday and declared that a 21-day shutdown was about to start, reports Bloomberg. India already had effectively shut down major cities because of the coronavirus, but Modi said it was essential to widen the restrictions. "If we listen to the health experts, we know that 21 days are crucial to break the cycle of transmission,” he said in his televised address. "For a few days forget what it means to go out. Today’s decision of a nationwide lockdown draws a line outside your home."

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So far, the virus numbers in the nation are relatively low—469 active cases and 10 deaths, per the AP. But worries about a potentially explosive increase were rising. "To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes," Modi said, adding that if the country couldn't manage a 21-day ban, it would be in trouble for the next 21 years. (In the US, President Trump says the de facto American shutdown might be able to be lifted in a matter of weeks.)

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