Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced a month-long lockdown in his country as the coronavirus pandemic assumed alarming proportions. In his address to the nation on Friday, Loong said that time had come for him to take a decisive decision to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country, adding that most workplaces except those offering essential services will remain shut from 7 April. His announcement prompted Indians to draw a parallel with a similar announcement of a 21-day lockdown made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by giving just four-hours notice.
Journalist Dushyant wrote sarcastically, “4 days advance notice. What an amateur.” Journalist Sankarsen Thakur tweeted, “With a four-day prep time in a country the size of Singapore; a country the size of India was given less than four hours. Effect a lockdown to break the chain, but put plans in place, give people time so they don’t panic.”
Modi has come under plenty of criticism for giving just four-hours notice to implement a 21-day nationwide lockdown. Hundreds of thousands of poor migrant workers were stranded in different parts of India as they were forced to walk hundreds of kilometers to make their way back home.
Under the lockdown, food establishments, hospitals and transport services will remain open in Singapore. Loong said that all schools will remain closed temporarily while students can shift to online lessons during the lockdown period.
He advised people to stay at home and maintain social distancing with others beyond their own family members.
Modi had addressed the nation at 8 PM on 24 March to announce that a 21-day national lockdown will come into effect from 12 midnight the same night to contain the spread of coronavirus.