WHO terms India’s 21-day lockdown as ‘comprehensive and robust’ response to COVID-19

NM photo by Abheet Raghav

After India imposed a complete nationwide 21-day lockdown, the United Nations (UN) has expressed solidarity with it in its fight against novel coronavirus, with a top official at the world body’s health agency praising the move as a “comprehensive and robust” response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in India stood at 606 on Wednesday with 10 deaths reported so far and 42 cured ones, according to the Health Ministry. In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks.

Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 19,675 with more than 438,749 cases reported in over 165 countries and territories and 111,895 recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“United Nations stands in solidarity with India in its fight against COVID-19”, said a video message tweeted by United Nations News on Tuesday, the UN’s multimedia news service.

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The video also took note of the ‘Janta Curfew’ observed across India on Sunday, when the country’s 1.3 billion citizens stayed at home from 7 am to 9 pm in an effort to practise social distancing. Heeding to a call by Modi, people came out on their balconies, windows and courtyards to applaud the selfless work of medical professionals on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.

“India is on a 21-day lockdown to try and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from taking hold. The @UN health agency @WHO urged the Govt to take ‘aggressive action’”, UN News tweeted.

The WHO and other UN partners have been working closely with the Indian government on preparedness and response measures, disease surveillance, laboratory and research protocols, risk communications, training on infection prevention and control and cluster containment plan, surveillance and tracking of travellers.

(With agency inputs)

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