Modi India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on COVID-19 via a video message, in New Delhi, Friday, April 3, 2020. Modi urged people to switch off lights in their homes at 9pm for nine minutes on April 5 and light up lamps, candles, mobile flashlights to display the nation's collective spirit to defeat coronavirus. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday once again reached out to the nation amid the 21-day lockdown to spread a message of positivity and strength and urged each one to light a candle or diya (lamp made out of clay) on April 5 at 9pm for nine minutes to dispel the darkness and gloom brought by the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus.

Modi appealed to citizens to respect the lockdown orders and not venture out at anytime. He reminded them once more that social distancing is the only way to flatten the curve of spiking cases across the nation despite all efforts.

Modi termed this new task as an attempt to show coronavirus the strength of Indian unity and ‘light’.

“This Sunday, 5th April we have to challenge the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to introduce it to the power of light,” Modi said in an address to the nation.

“We have to take Mahasankalp (the supreme oath) by 130 crore citizens to new heights. I want your 9 minutes at 9 pm on April 5,” Modi added.

He then asked Indians to switch off lights in their homes, reach out from their windows, gates or balconies and light a candle or diya for 9 minutes. Even torches and mobile phone lights would also do.

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“Switch off every light in the house, reach to your main gate or balcony and light a candle, diya, torch or your mobile’s flash for 9 minutes,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister, however, warned citizens not to form groups or attend gatherings at this time, and follow ‘Lakshan Rekha’ of social distancing.

“We should not cross the ‘Laxman Rekha’ of Social Distancing. It is the only way to break the corona chain,” Modi said.

“It is my request to you all, we should not go on streets, lanes, and locality during these 9 minutes. We have to complete the task at our gates or balcony,” he added.

The remarks came after several videos emerged on social media where people were seen taking to roads while they clapped to thank corona warriors on March 22, when Janata Curfew was called by PM Modi.

He lauded citizens’ effort to follow lockdown guidelines and their unprecedented discipline and sense of service. He said that people have come together and resolved to fight corona, which is very inspiring.

Modi also said that Janata Curfew on March 22, was a success and had set an example for the world to follow.