Coronavirus: United Nations lauds India’s 21-day nationwide lockdown, WHO calls it ‘robust’
A WHO official said the prime minister’s call for practicing social distancing attracted widespread support from communities across the country.
The United Nations on Tuesday expressed solidarity with India and said it supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision of imposing a 21-day countrywide lockdown in an attempt to stop coronavirus from spreading, PTI reported. India’s health ministry has confirmed 562 cases of Covid-19. Of these 512 cases are currently active, and nine people have died due to it.
In a video message tweeted by the United Nations, the international organisation also acknowledged Modi’s call for the 14-hour “Janata curfew” in a bid to practice social distancing. The UN video showed empty roads in several cities on Sunday as people observed the curfew.
“India is on a 21-day lockdown to try and prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from taking hold,” the tweet said. “The United Nation’s health agency, the World Health Organisation urged the government to take ‘aggressive action’.”
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World Health Organisation Representative to India Henk Bekedam described India’s response to the escalating health crisis as “comprehensive and robust”. He said the prime minister’s call for practicing social distancing attracted widespread support from communities across the country.
“Massive efforts have been made towards prevention and containing the spread, including strengthening surveillance, laboratory capacity, contact tracing and isolation and risk communications,” Bekedam said. “It is vital that we come together in solidarity and help in breaking the chain of transmission and flattening the curve.”
The World Health Organization on Monday said that India had tremendous capacity and had, in the past, helped the world in eliminating smallpox and polio. It also urged India to be aggressive in its efforts to combat the virus.
Meanwhile, the international body’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned countries on Monday saying that the novel coronavirus was clearly “accelerating”, but added that it was still possible to “change the trajectory” of the outbreak. On the other hand, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate “global ceasefire in all corners of the world” in light of the pandemic, and said it was time to “put the armed conflict on lockdown and focus together”.
One person died of the novel coronavirus infection in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, taking India’s toll from Covid-19 cases to 10. Though the toll had risen to 10 on Tuesday evening itself, the Centre on Wednesday morning reversed the positive status of one person who had died in Delhi. It has also not yet confirmed the death in Madurai. The health ministry has so far confirmed 562 coronavirus cases and said that 512 of these are active cases.
A countrywide lockdown came into effect from midnight on Tuesday. Essential services such as grocery shops, dairies and milk booths, hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire stations and ATMs will continue to work, the Ministry of Home Affairs said after Modi’s address.