India: “a total ban on venturing out of your homes”


Almost one-fifth of the world's population is under coronavirus lockdown

  • India — the world’s second-largest country by a substantial margin — implemented on Tuesday what Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as “a total ban on venturing out of your homes” in response to the coronavirus pandemic. [BBC]

  • Currently, India has relatively few confirmed Covid-19 cases at just 519, which is fewer than the death toll in the US right now. According to Modi, however, the lockdown is necessary to “break the cycle of infection” in India and avoid a spike in cases. [CNN / Manveena Suri, Swati Gupta, and Ivana Kottasová]

  • But as Vox’s Alex Ward reports, there could be a much larger number of unreported cases in India, and the country’s population density will make social distancing hard. One expert estimated that the death toll in India from Covid-19 could exceed 1 million over the next year. [Vox / Alex Ward]

  • The lockdown will be in effect for at least three weeks and is set to begin at midnight on Tuesday. India has also halted international and domestic flights, as well as long-distance domestic travel on the country’s rail system. [AP / Emily Schmall and Sheikh Saaliq]

  • Modi also indicated that the Indian government would dedicate 150 billion rupees (about 2 billion USD) to bolstering the country’s health care system, and an economic aid package is also in the works. [WSJ / Rajesh Roy]

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