India announces 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19

Uma Shankar MISHRA / AFP

India will go into a nationwide lockdown from midnight Tuesday, March 24, for 21 days to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

"There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a televised address.

Most major cities were in lockdown from Monday, March 23, but it will now be extended to "every village, every district".

"The entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown," he said, adding, "To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family... every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown."

India has so far reported 482 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and nine deaths.

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