Light Diyas, Candles at 9 pm on 5 April for 9 Minutes: PM Modi

As India enters the tenth day of nationwide lockdown over COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 3 April shared a video message and urged all Indians to switch off all lights on Sunday, 5 April at 9 pm for 9 minutes and light a candle or diya in their doorways or balconies.

“I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, 'diya', or mobile's flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.

He however urged citizens against gathering in groups on streets and localities while lighting diyas on Sunday.

“I request you all, that while doing this, please do not gather anywhere in groups, be it on streets or localities. Please execute this from your doorsteps or balconies. The ‘laxmen rekha’ of social distancing cannot be crossed. This is the only solution against coronavirus. So, at 9 pm on 5 April, sit alone for a while and remember ‘maa bharti’,” he said.

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“The way you paid gratitude to people fighting against coronavirus on 22 March has become a model that is being emulated by other countries. Janata curfew and ringing of bells, clanging utensils, made the country aware of its unity amid this challenging time,” the prime minister added.

Speaking on people’s anxiety amid the lockdown, PM Modi said that “none of us are alone” and that 130 crore Indians are together.

“Today when crores of people are inside homes, then some of us may think how will they fight this battle against COVID-19 alone. Such questions might come up in your mind. But please remember, none of us is alone. The strength of 130 crores of Indians is with each on,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the prime minister held a meeting with chief ministers of various states via video-conferencing, saying that state governments and the Centre must formulate a common exit strategy to ensure the staggered re-emergence of population once the lockdown ends.

Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were also present on call. This was the second time PM Modi spoke to the chief ministers on the pandemic.

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