Modi apologises for virus lockdown

Agence France-Presse | Published: 15:37, Mar 29,2020


Narendra Modi

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi apologised to citizens for the sweeping 21-day lockdown that has brought the country of 1.3 billion people to a halt, leaving many migrant workers jobless and penniless.

‘I believe that you will forgive me... I had to take some decisions which have inconvenienced you in various ways, especially my poor brothers and sisters,’ he said Sunday in a weekly radio address, arguing there was ‘no other way’ to fight the virus.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to rural migrants not to go home after a massive exodus began from cities, with many workers making the long journeys on foot.

‘Stay where you are. Because there is a risk of corona spreading in such a big crowd,’ he tweeted.

The government ordered all of India’s states and territories to seal their borders to reduce the movement of people, and said funds were available within each state to arrange food and shelter for migrants at their places of work.

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