"This information is incorrect. It will also create unnecessary panic in minds of the people, which is the last thing we need in times like these."
With multiple media reports speculating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce a virtual lockdown of the country, government sources told CNBC-TV18 that the information is incorrect.
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"This information is incorrect. It will also create unnecessary panic in minds of the people, which is the last thing we need in times like these," sources close to the government said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address the nation on the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in 166 positive cases in India, including 3 deaths.
As many as 276 Indians have been tested positive for Covid-19 abroad, most in Iran.
The PM is reviewing the situation daily, Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs said, while a group of secretaries is reviewing the situation around the world.
"The MEA has set up a dedicated 24x7 COVID control room, which is being further strengthened," the MEA Additional Secretary said.
Meanwhile, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that he would expect no less than a lockdown from the PM's speech.
What will the PM announce at 8 pm today?I will be disappointed if the PM did not announce a total lockdown, at least of all towns and cities, for a period of 2-4 weeks.Anything less will be letting down this country.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 19, 2020
"After WHO Director General’s statement yesterday, there should be no hesitation in ordering an immediate lockdown of all our towns and cities for 2-4 weeks," Chidambaram added on his Twitter. "Even after we have witnessed what is happening in Italy, Iran and Spain, why is the government refusing to take the logical step of a lockdown? Some states that are ahead of the central government should go ahead and lock down their towns and cities."
First Published: IST