Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation tonight and announced a complete lockdown till April 14, for 21 days to combat the pandemic COVID-19. During the speech, he said, “If we don’t handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years.” He added that the lockdown will affect the economy of the country but saving people’s lives is the paramount interest of the government. He also asserted that social distancing is the only way to fight against the disease. He also confirmed that essential services will remain functional. Also Read - 'Nationwide Lockdown, Decisive Fight to Combat COVID-19': Highlights of PM Modi's Speech

Soon after the speech, hashtag #CoronavirusLockdown became the top trends on Twitter on Tuesday evening. Singer Shreya Ghoshal tweeted, “#CoronavirusLockdown for 21 days announced by @narendramodi in his speech today. We can do this India!! Let’s stay positive and sincere to this effort! #StayHome.” Also Read - Hantavirus Early Symptoms, Signs to Get Alert: This is How You Can Take Precautions And Prevent Yourself From Deadly Virus



Another user wrote, “#CoronavirusLockdown for 21 days announced by @narendramodi in his speech today. We can do this India!! Let’s stay positive and sincere to this effort! #StayHome.” Also Read - Hantavirus in India: Know Symptoms, Signs, Incubation Period And All Things Important About the Deadly Virus

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Tuesday’s address to the nation, notably, was the Prime Minister’s second in less than a week as the number of positive cases across the country spiked to 519, including nine deaths. Stressing on the need to observe social distancing, the Prime Minister repeatedly said that while such a long lockdown will indeed be inconvenient, the priority was to save people’s lives. He also acknowledged that a lockdown of this duration would come at a cost on the economic front, but ‘not following this 21-day lockdown will take us back by 21 years.’

He said that failure of countries like the US, France and Italy in controlling the pandemic showed that once the virus started spreading, it was difficult to contain it. He particularly emphasised on the fact that while it took 67 days for the virus to infect its first one lakh patients, it took just 11 days to affect the next one lakh and a further lakh in just three days.

He also assured the people that all esssential services would be available during the period of the lockdown and requested them to thank all those who were battling everyday to save the citizens from the coronavirus pandemic.