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More than 1.3 billion Indians heeded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to “stay at home” as a 21 nationwide lockdown began in a major step aimed at containing the spread of the dreaded Cornovirus, even as the number of detected cases crossed the 600 mark.

The Union health ministry on wednesday also revised the death toll due to COVID-19 to nine. The ministry in its updated figures stated the second death reported in Delhi was COVID-19 negative, thus bringing down the death toll to nine in India.

Delhi reported two deaths so far with one death reported on Tuesday.

Nine deaths so far have been reported from Maharashtra (two), Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.

Over 40 fresh cases reported from various parts of country in a day. New cases have been reported from Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. A total of 40 people have been discharged from hospital, according to Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Kerala is the worst affected state in the country which has so far reported 109 cases. The total number of  coronavirus cases also crossed 100-mark in Maharashtra. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Maharashtra has recorded 101 coronavirus patients.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation on Tuesday that all of India would be locked down for 21 days starting from midnight, the most sweeping action in the world yet in the drive to check the spread of the coronavirus.

Modi stressed that there was no option but to enforce social distancing.

When the Prime Minister made the announcement at 8 pm, most of the country was already in a lockdown but for up to eight days. Now, the entire country has been shut down at least till April 14 midnight.

In his second address to the nation over COVID-19 but in a far more graver tone that suggested a sense of urgency, Modi assured the country that essential supplies would be made available.

After the speech, the Prime Minister tweeted: “My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. The Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this.”

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