Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Highlighting the challenge of the Coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation today, announced a 21-day lockdown from 12 AM tonight.

"If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21-day lockdown(of nationwide complete lockdown), we will be pushed back 21 years. This lockdown is in a way a curfew and would be more stringent than Janta Curfew. This is not a PM speaking, but a family member of 140 crore Indians," said PM Modi.

Stressing on the need for social distancing, he said, "Social distancing is the only way to tackle the Coronavirus. The pandemic has made many powerful countries helpless. Challenges are increasing despite all efforts," said PM Modi.

Urging everyone to stay inside their homes during the lockdown period, PM Modi said, "There is just one way to deal with Coronavirus - no matter what, we should stay at home. This is time for patience and discipline; I appeal to you with folded hands to remember people are putting their lives at risk for our safety."

During his speech, PM Modi showed a placard that he liked which carried the word Corona in hindi and its syllables were expanded to read 'Koi Road Par Na Nikle' (No one should come out on roads).

“The only way to protect us from Coronavirus is not to cross the Lakshman Rekha of our homes," he said.

"Today India is at the stage where our actions 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 added.

PM Modi also took to Twitter to assure everyone that essential commodities, medicines would be available in the lockdown period.

This was Prime Minister Modi's second address to the country regarding coronavirus. In his first address, he had urged Indians to observe 'Janata Curfew'.