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India Places 1.3 Billion People Under Lockdown

India’s population of 1.3 billion people went on “complete” lockdown on Tuesday to curb the spread of coronavirus during the next three weeks. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the lockdown would last a minimum of 21 days and would apply to all states and territories, according to CNN. Essential services will continue, including water, electricity, health services, fire services, groceries and municipal services.

Shops, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship will shutter and interstate buses will be suspended. The country also closed international borders to most travelers coming from Europe. 

“You have seen the worldwide situations arising from the coronavirus pandemic in the news. You have also seen how the most powerful nations have become helpless in the face of this pandemic,” Modi said. 

Modi’s measures are largely preventative rather than reactive, the country currently has just 519 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths. India maintains the world’s second largest population and fifth largest economy.