Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday, and declared a complete nationwide lockdown for the next 21 days to halt the spread of Covid-19 infections. Modi implored all Indians to participate with utmost seriousness by staying home, come what may. No doubt, this will involve hardships, but it had become unavoidable, given the sharp rise in the number of cases India witnessed in recent days. There is reasonable suspicion that India may have already reached a tipping point in the war against the virus, and delaying a total clampdown any further could have led to a health calamity that our infrastructure would not have been able to handle.

Our only chance to fight this pandemic, thus, is rigorous social distancing, as Modi made clear. To aid efforts to fight the disease, the Prime Minister also announced a 15,000 crore allocation of funds. He asked for patience and resolve, urged people not to fall for rumours, and assured the country that the supply of essential items would not be disrupted. It is vital that everyone has access to food. Panic should not set in over the basics of survival.

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