1.3 Billion on Lockdown in India

India put its population of 1.3 billion on lockdown yesterday, heeding calls from the WHO to take aggressive action, UN News reports.

“If you can’t handle these 21 days, this country will go back 21 years,” warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

So far, the country has about 500 confirmed cases. But officials worry that COVID-19 could prove more devastating there than seen in China, Europe or the US.

As India’s population struggled to comply, the nation’s poor say they’re being forced to choose between safety and hunger, the BBC reports.

“The future of this pandemic, to a greater extent, will be determined by what happens in very large, highly populated, densely populated countries” like India, says WHO’s Mike Ryan, head of emergencies.

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