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Bollywood celebs welcome 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus
Calling the 21-day national lockdown in India a "collective turning point", Bollywood personalities such as veteran singer Asha Bhosle, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actors Taapsee Pannu and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub said the decision by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was essential to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
The prime minister on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that this is necessary for a decisive battle against the pandemic.
Coronavirus cases in the country rose to 519 and one more death from the infection was reported on Tuesday taking the toll to ten. In his second address to the nation in six days on the pandemic raging across the world, Modi said the decision will have an economic cost but saving people's lives is of the paramount interest to his government.
"If we don't handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years," he said.
The members of the film industry took to Twitter to react to the news of the total lockdown. Bhosle said people of India shall overcome this pandemic. "I've lived through many epidemics including plague, smallpox, TB, polio etc & several wars including world war 2 & though this pandemic is bad, we shall overcome it. Stay home as ordered & we shall be fine," she tweeted.
Bhatt said India today stands at "collective turning point", where the citizens must stop, listen and help the government implement the all-India shutdown. "The time of great fear requires solidarity, humanity, sacrifice & hope. Not hysteria & rumor mongering," the filmmaker said.
Taapsee said when it's about saving several lives, 21 days is not a long period. "21 days ! Not a lot for us in return of our lives. Let's do this everyone ! And hopefully by the end of THIS lockdown we surely will have a reason and time to celebrate. Until then let's get through one day at a time," she said.
Zeeshan asked people to uphold the dignity of the lockdown. "This is required to save the country from the threat of the coronavirus. Do not leave your homes, until absolutely necessary," he said.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor said the lockdown was the only option to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Singer Shreya Ghoshal asked the masses to stay "positive and sincere to this effort".
In his address, Modi said there will be complete ban on people from stepping outsides their homes and even folded his hands to emphasize his request to citizens to adhere to the call.
Experts and the experience of countries fighting the deadly virus make it clear that the social distancing is the only way to combat the disease, he asserted.
- by Agencies
- by Republica
- by Associated Press