Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday the government would impose a nationwide lockdown from midnight for 21 days to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Modi said in a televised address.
PM Modi said that “social distancing” was the only way to combat the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The prime minister said that some people in the country had misunderstood the concept, and had acted “irresponsibly” in the last few days.
He said the lockdown would save many Indians and warned that “putting even one foot out” would jeopardise people.
Even developed countries were facing issues combating the virus, he said, and he talked about it spreading despite all efforts.
Mr Modi has also announced a fund of nearly $2bn (£1.7bn) to combat the virus and vowed to upgrade health facilities across the country.
India has so far reported 482 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths.