Daily Outlook

Coronavirus puts over 1 billion people in India on 21-day lockdown to combat spread

Streets in India normally bustling with people and traffic stayed empty Wednesday as the country of 1.3 billion people endured the first day of a national lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new measure Tuesday, saying that people would have to remain in their homes for the next 21 days with only essential services remaining open. The move is designed to curb the virus’s spread and keep the country’s already-fragile health system from buckling under a surge of critically ill patients.

The government is setting aside $2 billion to bolster India’s medical infrastructure and care for those infected with the coronavirus, Modi said. India currently has 716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The threat of the virus spreading further, as well as the new lockdown, have also put India’s economic growth at risk. The country has already struggled to achieve higher growth and economists are anticipating a further slowdown in GDP.

While the U.S. has seen a slew of states announcing stay-at-home orders, President Donald Trump has not yet ordered a nationwide lockdown like India’s. The U.S. has a smaller population than India at 328 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the U.S. has had more cases of the virus, with at least 69,197 confirmed cases and at least 1,046 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins

Coronavirus puts over 1 billion people in India on 21-day lockdown to combat spread, CNBC, Mar 26

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