1.3 Billion people on lockdown in India, prime minister decrees

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW DELHI (AP) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decreed a 21-day lockdown across the nation of 1.3 billion people “to save India” from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a television address, Modi said that if India isn’t able to manage the next 21 days, the country could be set back by 21 years. India’s stay-at-home order puts nearly one-fifth of the world’s population under lockdown. Indian health officials have reported 469 active cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 10 deaths. Officials have repeatedly insisted there is no evidence yet of communal spread but have conducted relatively scant testing for the disease.

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