LONDON (ICIS)--Nearly a fifth of the world’s population will now be in quarantine after India’s Prime Minister implemented a 21-day emergency period aimed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the 1.3bn-strong country.
Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday evening local time, warning that the lockdown could be extended further.
India has only 492 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the real figure is likely to be much higher.
The country’s vast rural areas are some of the world’s largest farming lands; measures implemented during the past week had already dented activity in the fertilizers markets and caused logistics disruption.
The 21-day quarantine is likely to depress the market further.
India's state-run fertilizers major RCF has delayed an urea tender due to the measures to curb the pandemic.
“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” said Modi, quoted by the news agency Associated Press (AP).
Essential service providers like hospitals, police, and media will remain functioning, as well as food stores and pharmacies.