India’s 1.3bn population locked down to beat coronavirus

Extreme measure intended to avert catastrophe in country with poor healthcare services

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India has mounted the largest attempted lockdown yet in the coronavirus crisis, ordering 1.3 billion people to stay at home from midnight for three weeks to prevent a public health disaster.

In a televised address on Tuesday night, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced that for the next 21 days, almost one fifth of the world’s population should “forget what going out means”.

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