New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (March 24) announced to allocate Rs 15,000 crore for Coronavirus COVID-19 testing facilities, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), ICUs, ventilators and for the training of medical workers while declaring a nationwide three-week lockdown starting from Tuesday midnight. The lockdown will also include all states and union territories.
The prime minister said the government has made a provision of Rs 15,000 crore for strengthening the country's health infrastructure for the treatment of coronavirus-infected patients.
He said that he has also requested the state governments that their only priority at this time should be health services, asking people to stay away from superstitions, rumours and everyone must follow only credible medical advice.
Notably, a financial package was also expected for various sectors, including civil aviation and tourism, to deal with the fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted the economy.
Many businesses have suffered irreparable losses due to shutdown and restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic and thousands of jobs have also been lost.
PM Modi warned, if we don`t follow a complete lockdown for the coming 21 days, the nation will go back 21 years and many families will be devastated.
He said that many powerful countries in the world have become helpless, regardless of their efforts, and reiterated that social distancing is the only way to deal with this deadly coronavirus that has infected more than 500 in India, so far.
In his address to the nation, "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."
This is his second address to the nation regarding coronavirus. In his first address, he urged Indians to observe `Janata Curfew`.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister also interacted with doctors through video conferencing over coronavirus COVID19 outbreak. Besides doctors, medical professionals also participated in the meeting.
On Monday, Modi asked captains of India Inc to ensure that the production of essential items is not impacted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and there is no hoarding and black marketing. During his interaction with leaders of India Inc, he also asked them to allow employees to work from home, according to an official release.
Exhorting India Inc to adopt a humanitarian approach, he asked them not to cut down on the workforce in spite of the COVID-19 negative impact on their businesses.
Industry representatives from Assocham, FICCI, CII and several local chambers from 18 cities across the country had participated in the interaction with the prime minister through video-conferencing.