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Don’t panic, essential items will be available during 21-day lockdown: Modi

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) After announcing a 21-day nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people not to panic as all essential commodities like medicines and milk would be available during the shutdown.

Soon after his address to the nation, the Prime Minister tweeted: “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.”

In another tweet, Modi said, “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.”

His appeal came after people across the country started thronging the shops to buy essential items in view of the nationwide three-week lockdown starting Tuesday midnight.

Earlier, Modi said in his second special address to the nation within a week, “With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are.”

He added that he was mindful of the economic ramifications of the decision. Modi warned that if people 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 also said many powerful countries in the world have become helpless, regardless of their efforts. He once again reiterated that social distancing was the only way to deal with the dreaded virus that has infected more than 500 people in India so far.

“Some people are under the misconception that social distancing is only for those infected with coronavirus… But they should understand that this is for everyone because it is important to break the cycle,” Modi said in his address to the nation.

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