25 March 2020
New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the Centre and state governments are working in tandem to prevent the spread of coronavirus and asked people not to panic amid countrywide lockdown.
The lockdown was imposed in the country from today and will be in force till April 14.
In a cabinet briefing, Javadekar requested people to stay at home, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and visit a doctor if the symptoms appear.
"The 21-day lockdown is important. Spend quality time with your family and do not resort to panic-buying. Essential items will be available throughout the country," he said.
For the poor, the Centre will give rice and wheat at the rate of three and two rupees a kg, respectively.
"Cheap or free ration is being given out. It is the world's biggest food security system. This will be extended to three months," the Union minister added.
He further said that contractual labourers will get wages on time and also announced recapitalization of regional banks.
Javadekar said the Ministry of Home Affairs is slated to come up with a helpline number today. "Every district will have a helpline number."