NEW DELHI: India’s billion-plus population went into a three-week lockdown on Wednesday, with one third of the world population now under orders to stay indoors, as US politicians agreed to spend $2 trillion to counter the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic, reports AFP.
Financial markets soared as the Senate and the White House thrashed out a stimulus package worth roughly 10 percent of the entire US economy, an injection Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said represented a “wartime level of investment into our nation”.Donald Trump has voiced hope that the United States would be “raring to go” by mid-April, but his optimism appeared to stand almost alone among world leaders, who were ratcheting up the movement restrictions in a bid to stifle the spread of the disease.
India ordered its 1.3 billion people—the world’s second-biggest population—to stay at home for three weeks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “total lockdown” call doubled the number of people around the globe under some form of movement restriction to more than 2.6 billion people.
“To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family... every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown,” Modi said in a televised address.
Mumbai vegetable trader Rafiq Ansari said his customers were getting angry over shortages and price hikes.
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” the 35-year-old told AFP. “It’s getting increasingly difficult to source produce. We are going to face major shortages in the days ahead.”However China, where the new virus emerged last year, loosened tough rules on the 50 million people in Hubei province on Wednesday after a months-long lockdown as the country reported no new domestic cases.