Last Friday, when the PM announced that he will address the nation at 8 PM sharp, my neighbour gave a conspiratorial look and said, “8 baje hai to kuchh bada hi hoga.” After that, we ran to the local corner-shop to stock up on daily necessities. The entire neighbourhood had turned up, their faces covered in masks. Everyone agreed that something big was about to happen.I, too, expected kuchh bada from the PM’s speech. When it didn’t come, I thought that Mr. Modi had taken a decision to not announce his plans, so that people didn’t panic. Because, it was clear to everyone, that the coronavirus winter was coming.It has taken just a couple of days for almost the entire country to be under a lockdown. If Modi Sarkar has a plan for us, it has done a great job of keeping it a secret. Everyone knew what was required. I myself, have written about it on this website.COVID-19: PM Modi to Address Nation at 8 PM Today on CrisisIf Modi Sarkar has a plan for us, it has done a great job of keeping it a secret. Everyone knows what is required at the moment: from medical preparedness to uninterrupted essential supply chains to economic stimulus packages. What has Modi Sarkar done till now? It has set up a task force under the finance minister. The PM is going to speak again at 8 PM tonight. I hope it will contain kuchh bada announcements. We need a proper stimulus package for India Inc. It should have come last Friday, but better late than never.Coronavirus Emergency Urgently Needs These MeasuresWe need gallons of sanitizing liquid to be delivered to people living in slums, because they don’t get enough water to wash their hands. We need cash transfers to each poor family, because we know if they don’t go out to work, they will starve. We need mid-day meals to be delivered to homes, where children are forced to stay out of school, because India’s poor depend on it. We need existing supply-chains – such as that of Mother Dairy – to be activated to deliver daily provisions to each home. We need tie-ups with delivery startups to deliver meals to slum clusters.We also need the government to provide funds to small businesses so that the lockdown doesn’t kill them. We need the RBI to issue directives to banks to put a moratorium on loan repayments. Since that will mean a loss for banks, we need the government to compensate them for it. We need the government to lean on telecom operators and increase bandwidth so that people can work from home. We need the government to give business to manufacturing companies by seconding their factories and workshops to produces masks, protective gear, ventilators.Does Covid-19 Give Modi an Opportunity to Revive Indian Economy?We Are Still So UnpreparedWe need stadiums, empty offices, warehouses, to be retrofitted quickly and turned into isolation camps. We need the army to be brought into the act and get their expertise to create temporary fever clinics and specialised COVID-19 hospitals. We need medical teams to go from home to home and track down cases, test them and quarantine them. We need temperature check-ups in each home in slums. We need positive or suspected cases in slums and tenement quarters to be moved immediately into isolation camps, because we know it is impossible for such crowded places to implement ‘social distancing’.We needed all this before the PM gave his speech last Friday.But, we are so unprepared that on day 1, we heard that people living in jhuggi-jhonpdi clusters have already run out of food.Some state governments have opened food kitchens, but they are too few and far between. Where the government should have been ready to supply food packets, civil society volunteers are collecting money to fill in.WHO Expects India to Take Aggressive Action Against CoronavirusWhat Is Modi Government Waiting For?Compare that to some other countries, where governments have announced big stimulus packages, for both businesses and citizens. The US congress has approved a $ 2 trillion stimulus package and Donald Trump has spoken about mailing 1000-dollar cheques to millions of American families. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s speech, spelling out concrete details on how his government will help people and businesses, has gone viral across the world.China delivered 15 million meals to people, every day, while it had put everyone under lockdown. Hong Kong has allocated $10 billion for cash handouts to residents so that they can stay at home.What has Modi Sarkar done till now? It has set up a task force under the finance minister. This should have been done three weeks ago, when we had our first coronavirus case. It could have been done even earlier, when it was clear that the virus was quickly spreading beyond China. What was the government waiting for?Coronavirus is Indeed Wuhan Virus — Don’t Give China a Clean ChitWe Must Get a Stimulus Package For India Inc TonightThe last time India faced the contagion of a global economic crisis, was during 2008-09. At that time, the government responded with a massive economic stimulus. It helped India buck the global trend and continue to grow at a fast pace. The stock markets revived after a massive crash. I have argued earlier, that the COVID-19 crisis could be a great excuse for the Modi government to stimulate the economy, without having global ratings agencies breathing down its neck. There is no earthly reason why there has been no such announcement till now.The PM is going to speak again at 8 PM tonight. I hope it will contain kuchh bada announcements. We need to be assured that India will test more. We need to be assured that if we catch the virus, we will get access to proper medical care.India’s poor need a plan on how they will get their next meal, and what will happen to their earnings. We need a proper stimulus package for India Inc. It should have come last Friday, but better late than never.(The author was Senior Managing Editor, NDTV India & NDTV Profit. He now runs the independent YouTube channel ‘Desi Democracy’. He tweets @AunindyoC. This is an opinion piece. The views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.