Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday while interacting with the people of Varanasi on the coronavirus lockdown said that the war of "Mahabharata was won in 18 days, the war against coronavirus would take 21 days."
PM Modi was addressing a Q and A session a day after he announced a 21-day total lockdown in the country to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus, which has infected over 560 in India.
He also expressed "pain" at people targeting doctors, nurses and other staff handling coronavirus patients.
As the lockdown came into force, many shelves in the megacities of New Delhi and Mumbai were stripped bare of staples like lentils and rice as the world's second most populous country lurched into a shutdown aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.
Amid a scramble for supplies, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged residents not to panic and said e-passes would be issued to vegetable-sellers and grocers among others to ensure essential supplies during the lockdown.
There is "absolutely no need to panic", centre and states are working to ensure that essential supplies are not disrupted, he said, adding that his government had set aside Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen the health infrastructure to tackle coronavirus.
According to the latest Union Health ministry update, the number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 606 including 553 active cases, 42 cured/discharged people and 10 deaths