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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Paramilitary soldiers stand guard on a deserted street during Janta Curfew, Srinagar, India, March 22. Photo: Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday that the entire country will be locked down for three weeks beginning at midnight in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: With 1.3 billion people, India is the second-most populated country in the world. India currently has 519 confirmed cases.

Between the lines: Modi hopes to avoid a crisis on the scale of China's or Europe's, but his new measures will have a massive economic cost.

  • The prime minister ordered a trial run of a national lockdown on Sunday and had urged Indians to stay home when possible, knowing the country’s health care capacity lags far behind its population.
  • Modi has claimed that there are not yet signs of community spread, but experts caution that India is not testing enough people to know the true extent of the situation. About 15,000 tests had been conducted as of Tuesday, per CNN.

Go deeper: What world leaders are doing and saying about coronavirus.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine it's hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Global freedom continues steady decline: report

The global erosion of democracy has continued for a 15th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Zoom in: The report calls particular attention to India, which slipped from “free” to “partly free” due to the government's “scapegoating of Muslims” and “crackdown on critics.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, according to the report, “driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”