New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, in his third televised address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic, on Friday morning, said “India is united in its fight against the corona pandemic”, and appealed to switch off their electric lights and light earthen oil lamps, candles or flash their mobile lights for nine minutes at 9pm on Sunday.
The new coronavirus – also called COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 – has so far infected nearly 2,500 Indians and killed nearly 70 of them.
Interestingly, Modi called for a similar exercise on March 22, when he urged the public to clap, blow conch shells or ring bells. This saw a large number of people across the country clapping, ringing bells or banging utensils. Many were seen blowing conch shells too. Unfortunately, it also saw large number of people gathering at public places completely disregarding the prime minister’s call to maintain social distance to prevent the transmission of the virus.
On Friday, Modi said, “On the 5th of April, on Sunday, I want 9 minutes from all you, at 9pm. Listen carefully, on the 5th of April, at 9pm, turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in you balconies, and light candles or diyas (earthen lamps), torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes.” He said, “At that time, if you have turned off all the lights of your homes, and each one of us in all directions has lit a diya, we will experience the superpower of light, clearly illuminating the common purpose we are all fighting for. In that light, in that lustre, in that radiance, let us resolve in our minds that we are not alone, that no one is alone.”
India is currently under a lockdown for three weeks, which began on March 25 and will continue until April 14.
Full video of PM Narendra Modi’s third address to the nation on coronavirus: