Union Minister Prakash Javadekar speaking at a press conference on Wednesday.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that those shops which are catering to essential services will continue doing so during the 21-day nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Shops catering to essential services will continue to operate during the 21-day lockdown,” Javadekar said, adding that people should not panic.

“There are only there-four dos to fight with this disease. One is to stay at home. Second is to wash hands after doing any work. If you have fever, cough or cold, then go to the doctor and social distancing… It is a chance (mauka) to spend quality time with family,” Javadekar added.

Highlighting the initiatives taken by the government, the minister said, “Cost of wheat which stands at Rs 27 per kg to Food Corporation of India (FCI) is provided at Rs 2 and the cost of rice which is at Rs 37 to the government is provided at Rs 3. This is to 80 crore people. This is the world’s largest food security system and Rs 1.8 lakh crore is spent on this.” He requested people not to pay heed to rumours.

“All states have been told to start helpline in all districts. Helpline of various states has started also. The Home Ministry will also announce its special health number today,” Javadekar said.

“I am very sure that because of the lockdown announced by the Prime Minister and followed by people of India, it will have a positive impact and we can fight against coronavirus only through this joint action — stay at home, keep social distancing, wash your hands regularly and if you find any symptoms, immediately visit doctor,” he further said.