Addressing the nation on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown of the nation for 21 days, urging citizens to stay at home.
The news comes at a time when coronavirus cases in India have risen to 519, with 10 deaths reported from the infection.
Modi said it is imperative to keep up the fighting spirit of the people to stop the pandemic in its march.
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The second address on the global pandemic comes just days after his first address last week, as the number of people in India infected with coronavirus continued to rise.
In his televised address, last week, PM Modi had urged citizens to take precautionary measures to combat the novel coronavirus. He had also appealed to the country to observe a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday, March 22, from 7 am to 9 pm, to prevent the spread of the virus.
Earlier 32 States and Union Territories imposed complete lockdown till March 31, the Centre asked them to clamp curfew wherever necessary in the wake of people defying lockdown orders.
Earlier today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of financial relief measures to help deal with the pandemic-induced economic crisis in the country. In a press conference, Sitharaman touched upon the taxpayers' concerns surrounding income tax returns, compliance, and the deadline related to GST, IBT-related matters, bank-related compliances, etc.
This comes after the Finance Minister revealed that the Narendra Modi-led government is working on a financial relief package to help people in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier today, while addressing and speaking to senior journalists from the print media via video links, the Prime Minister said citizens need to be assured that the government is committed to countering the impact of COVID-19.
"He underlined the importance of social distancing, asking media to generate awareness about its importance, inform people about the lockdown decision by states, and also highlight the impact of the spread of the virus through the inclusion of international data and case studies about other countries in the papers," a statement issued by the PMO read.
Further, the government has also provisioned for Rs 15,000 crore to fight the threat of the virus and for the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients.
(With additional inputs from PTI.)
(Edited by Suman Singh)
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