Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged people to light candles, lamps or mobile flashlights at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, for 9 minutes to "raise the great power of 130 crore Indians" and make everyone feel that no one is alone during the coronavirus lockdown. "Please switch off your lights at homes on Sunday, light up candles, torch or mobile flashlights on your balconies for 9 minutes,' PM Modi said through a video message.
This is PM Modi's first message following the announcement of the 21-day lockdown on March 24. PM Modi has addressed the nation twice since the pandemic became a cause for serious concern in India.
In his first address, he called for a one-day Janata Curfew and in the second address on March 24, he announced a national lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, PM held a meeting with Chief Ministers and asked for a common plan to ensure staggered movement of people after the national lockdown ends. "It is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends," PM Modi emphasised, urging states to come up with suggestions.
India has 1,965 coronavirus cases, including 50 deaths.
Here are the highlights on what PM Modi said in his address to the nation:
- The lockdown against COVID-19 pandemic completes 9 days today. The way you all have come together in this time of crisis is commendable.
- The way Indians have shown how to stay indoors have inspired the entire world.
- Other nations are following India's lockdown example.
- I want to tell you all that nobody is alone in this. All of us are together in this.
- We must all go through this darkness together. Those who are most affected by this are the poor and marginalised. To overcome this darkness, we must all unite to spread the light and make this darkness of Coronavirus meet the light we all spread.
- On Sunday, at 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your house and each person should light candles or switch on torch of their mobile in their balconies. By doing so, we will stand united, we will show that no one is alone in this.
- The most important thing in all this is to do so within the confinement of our homes and balconies. At no point of time in this exercise should we come out on the streets. Please remember that maintaining social distancing is the most important thing to do.