The Centre on Tuesday (September 15) responded in writing to Congress leader Manish Tiwari's question why the nationwide lockdown was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on just four hours notice.
The government said that this step was taken on the recommendation of experts as there was a danger of spread of coronavirus COVID-19 due to the movement of people.
Congress MP Tiwari had asked, "What are the reasons due to which the lockdown was imposed on only four hours notice on March 23? What was the hurry that the lockdown was imposed in such a short period in the country? Has the lockdown been able to stop COVID-19?"
Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai said in a written reply on behalf of the government that after the coronavirus outbreak on January 7, the government had taken several measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including ban on international flights, issuing advisory to the public, quarantine facilities etc.
The government said that any mass movement of people would have spread the disease very rapidly among people of all parts of the country. Hence, a nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24 to prevent coronavirus in the country after taking into account the global experience.
Rai said in his written reply that India successfully foiled the aggressive spread of COVID-19 by imposing a nationwide lockdown. He added that the lockdown helped the country develop the necessary additional health infrastructure.
There was a 22 times increase in isolation beds and 14 times in ICU beds as compared to their availability in March 2020. At the same time, the capacity of laboratories was also increased ten times. Rai also said in his written reply that the country would have registered 14-29 lakh more cases if the government had not imposed the lockdown.