New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across India, which he said was a "just like a curfew", starting midnight from today in wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.  

"Every district, every village will go under lockdown. This is a type of curfew, much more stringent than Janta Curfew," said PM Modi in his address to the nation. 

The prime minister announced that the lockdown in country will be for 21 days as this period was necessary to break the chain of the COVID-19 virus. 

"Jaan hai toh jahan hai (the world exists only when we live)," he said, recalling a Hindi idiom to stress on the significance of his appeal.

The Centre and state governments have taken measures to ensure that the supply of all essential items continue smoothly, he said, seeking to allay apprehensions among people about availability of food and other essential provisions.

"My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this," he tweeted after his speech.

Separately, the government issued detailed guidelines about the restrictions, along with certain exemptions.

Also Read: 'From midnight today, there'll be complete lockdown from next 21 days': PM Modi | Top Quotes

Making the big announcement, PM Modi asked people to stay indoors, saying that going out could be dangerous for them and their families.

"The national lockdown has drawn a 'Lakshman rekha' at your door. One step outside can bring the virus inside your house," he said in his secinid address to the nation within a week.  

"If we fail during these 21 days, this virus will set us back by 21 years. I am not saying this as a PM, but a family member. If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days (of nationwide complete lockdown), we will be pushed back 21 years," the prime minister said. 

"Today India is at the stage where our actions today will decide to what extent we can bring down the impact of this disaster. This is the time to strengthen our resolve again and again," he said.

PM Modi said that as per experts, the period of 21 days was important to break the chain of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, adding that "social distancing is the only option to combat corona". 

"Some people are under the misconception that social distancing is only for those infected with coronavirus... but they should understand that this for everyone because it is important to break the cycle," said PM Modi in his address to the nation.

The Centre and state governments have taken measures to ensure that the supply of all essential items continue smoothly, he said, seeking to allay apprehensions among people about availability of food and other essential provisions.

"My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this," he tweeted after his speech.

He also hailed the people for the success of 'Janata Curfew' saying that they showed how Indians can come together and fight against any trouble which comes before the country.

"The one-day Janta Curfew showed how we Indians come together and fight against any trouble which comes before the country and the mankind," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, during his first address to the nation on deadly coronavirus, PM Modi had called for 'Janta curfew' on March 22 from 7 am-9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of house.

"If possible, please call at least ten people every day and tell them about the 'Janta Curfew' as well as the measures to prevent coronavirus," said the Prime Minister adding, "Restrain is compulsory to protect ourselves and remain healthy. I request that for the coming weeks people should go out of their homes only if essential."

"For last 2 months, millions are working day and night in hospitals and airports and those serving others by not taking care of themselves. On March 22, at 5'o clock, we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in our windows and keep clapping hands and ringing the bells for 5 mins to salute and encourage them," PM Modi said.

In line with PM Modi's appeal, millions of people across several parts of the country on Sunday came out on their terraces and balconies to clap, clang utensils and rang bells to express their gratitude to those providing essential services amid Coronavirus pandemic in the country, including Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Noida.

Top BJP leaders, including its president JP Nadda, Union ministers like Rajnath Singh and Dharmendra Pradhan, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also participated along with their family members and staff. 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath rang a bell while his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar along with the staff and security personnel deployed at his residence were beating 'thalis'.

What is a lockdown

A lockdown is an emergency protocol that prevents people from leaving a given area. A full lockdown will mean you must stay where you are and not exit or enter a building or the given area.

This scenario usually allows for essential supplies, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks to continue to serve the people. All non-essential activities remain shut for the entire period.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta