March 24, 2020 | 12:23pm | Updated March 24, 2020 | 12:41pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus – declaring that no one will be allowed to leave their homes.

“From 12 midnight today, the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,” Modi said in a television address to the 1.3 billion people in the world’s second-most populous nation.

“To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family … every street, every neighborhood is being put under lockdown,” he added in the strictest stay-at-home order yet in the world’s fight against the deadly bug.

He added ominously that if the country failed to manage the crisis in the next 21 days, it would be set back by 21 years.

“I am not saying this as your prime minister, I am saying it as your fellow citizen, family member,” Modi added.

India has lagged behind other countries in the number of infections, but there has been a sharp spike in recent days to 519 cases, including 10 deaths, officials said.

People watch Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak about coronavirus on TVs in Ahmedabad, India.


Virus Outbreak India

Barricades are kept on a road to block traffic during a lockdown in Prayagraj, India.

AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh

Virus Outbreak India

Barbed wire erected by authorities in Jammu, India

AP/Channi Anand


A deserted street during a government-imposed lockdown in Siliguri, India



A drone loaded with disinfectant takes off to spray the deserted Krishna Rajendra Market in Bangalore, India.


India: Lockdown in wake of Coronavirus

Police check documents of commuters during a lockdown in Prayagraj, India.

Prabhat Kumar Verma/Pacific Pres

The country has already banned flights from abroad for a week from Sunday — and grounded domestic flights and shut ports.

Indian Railways, which carries more than 20 million passengers daily, has canceled all services except suburban and freight trains.

With Post wires