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India’s Prime Minister Decrees 21-Day Lockdown To Curb Virus

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Indian paramilitary personnel stand on a deserted road during a complete lockdown amid growing concerns of coronavirus in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decreed a 21-day lockdown across the nation of 1.3 billion people "to save India" from the coronavirus pandemic. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

(AP) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decreed a 21-day lockdown across the nation of 1.3 billion people to save it from the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement is setting off panic in many neighborhoods as people rush to markets to stock up on supplies. Modi says if India isn’t able to manage the next 21 days, the country could be set back by 21 years. India’s stay-at-home order puts nearly one-fifth of the world’s population under lockdown.

Indian health officials have reported 469 active cases of the virus, and 10 deaths. Officials have repeatedly insisted there is no evidence yet of localized spread but have conducted relatively scant testing for the disease.

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