COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): PM to address nation at 10 am tomorrow | Rapid testing kits from China delayed

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN INDIA (updated 13th April 2020)

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March 25, 2020 | Number of cases: 562 | Number of deaths: 11

In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete nationwide lockdown for a period of 21 days starting March 25. The announcement was made with a view to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, with strict enforcement of social distancing. Essentials such as groceries and medicines will be available during the lockdown period. Government offices will function at reduced capacity.

All non-essential establishments have been ordered to be closed and employees of private firms have been instructed to work from home. In his speech, Modi exhorted the nation to cooperate with the curfew for this period, as not staying in for 21 days could “set us back by 21 years”. He warned of the dire consequences faced by other nations as a result of COVID-19 and urged the country to stay indoors to avoid a similar fate.

Panic buying was rife in many parts of the country just prior to the beginning of the 21-day lockdown. Many citizens rushed to stock up on essentials such as groceries and supplies, leading to overcrowding despite lockdown already in place in many states. The Prime Minister’s address urging people to not leave the house during the lockdown period was misinterpreted by many at first, as no mention was made of access to essential services leading to a rush at supermarkets. The Prime Minister’s office and the Press Information Bureau (PIB) issued clarifications that supply of essentials will be managed by the central and state governments and urged the people not to indulge in panic buying and hoarding. 

A containment zone had to be made in Bhadradi Kothagudam district in Telangana due to the positive test result of the son of a DSP fluting quarantine instructions. The son of the top cop returned from London on March 18th but did not follow home quarantine rules. Instead he moved freely in the area and came into contact with many individuals. The containment zone has been made to ensure the virus doesn’t spread further in the area as contact tracing and testing is being carried out. Two persons, the father and the cook, who had been in contact with the individual have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Last updated, March 25th, 1:30 pm

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