Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the "total lockdown" was to ''save India, to save its citizens, your family". Why India requires a "hard" lockdown to fight the virus has much to do with how crowded and densely packed a country it is. Both its public and private spaces are crowded. "The population density and the large number of poor people make it very vulnerable for the easy spread of such an easily transmissible disease," says political scientist Rahul Verma.
With 450 people per square kilometre, India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Some of the poor northern Indian states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have almost twice as many people per sq km.