Shortly after announcing a nationwide lockdown from March 24 midnight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that there was no need to panic and the Centre and state governments will ensure supply of essential commodities. He also said that the chances of coronavirus spread will increase if people come in close proximity. "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. Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India. Jai Hind!," the prime minister said.
He also said that "by converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19". "No panic buying please. Please stay indoors. I repeat- Centre and State Governments will ensure all essentials are available," the prime minister added. This comes after reports emerged that people had started gathering at provisional stores across the country after the prime minister announced complete lockdown for the next three weeks.
By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19.
No panic buying please.
Please stay indoors.
I repeat- Centre and State Governments will ensure all essentials are available. https://t.co/bX00az1h7l
- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2020
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released a detailed guidelines on the measures to be taken by the governments to contain the highly contagious coronavirus. During the lockdown some places will remain open and they are - ration shops (under PDS) dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder. Banks, insuarnce offices and ATMS will also remain open. Delivery of all essential goods inluding food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through E-commerce will also be allowed during lockdown.
- PIB India (@PIB_India) March 24, 2020
Hospitals and all related medical establishments including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance will continue to remain functional during three-week lockdown, according to guidelines issued by MHA.