Mar 24, 2020 - World

India announces nationwide lockdown to stop spread of coronavirus

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.

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History's largest lockdown leaves Indian workers stranded, afraid

A migrant worker on the move with his child, in Gurugram, India. Photo: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty

Few moments better capture the world into which we've slipped than the decision of one man to order 1.4 billion into lockdown.

Why it matters: India’s three-week lockdown is the largest ever attempted, and it sparked South Asia's greatest migration since partition in 1947. While the economic effects could be devastating, the public health crisis it's intended to fend off could be more destructive still.

Go deeperArrow16 hours ago - World

Coronavirus tests world leaders like never before

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In the coming months, the decisions world leaders make — and their ability to communicate them effectively — could determine whether millions live or die, and whether the global economy stays afloat.

What to watch: Nations are judging their leaders on a daily basis. They may ultimately be revered or reviled based on the decisions they make now. Some may emerge with new powers that last well beyond the outbreak.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders nationwide lockdown

Photo: Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a national address on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest world leader to order a nationwide lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Johnson warned on Sunday that a surge of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks could cripple the country's National Health Service, and that the U.K. is only "a matter of weeks" behind Italy — now the site of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - World