Coronavirus India: Why and when to switch off lights and light candles?

In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urged people to turn off lights at 9pm (local time) on 5 April, and use candles, torches and mobile torches for nine minutes.

Coronavirus India: Why and when to switch off lights and light candles?
Avishek Das/SOPA Images via ZUMA Avishek Das/SOPA Images via ZUMA

In a public address to the nation on Friday 3 April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the country to turn off the lights in their homes for nine minutes at 21:00 IST on Sunday (5 April), and use lamps, candles and switch on their mobile-phone torches to display a show of the nation’s collective solidarity in the fight against the Covid-19 virus through the 'power of light'.

Earlier in the week, Modi said that India would pull out of the planned three-week lockdown in a phased manner. India has been hardest hit by the disease in South Asia with 86 confirmed deaths in the nation.

Lockdown extension

While the government does plan to review the lockdown, set to end on 14 April, an extension will depend on an assessment of the situation in each state, and lockdowns and restrictions would be extended in districts where the coronavirus case spread has continued. Public transport in large metros such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi may only be restored in a phased manner days after the lockdown ends, said the officials, who asked not to be named as the plans were still under discussion.

Jammu (India), 04/04/2020.- An Indian man buys bottles of hand sanitizer from a medical shop in Jammu, India, 04 April 2020. According to the news reports, a near ten-fold increase in demand for hand sanitizers since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 disease, has resulted in a shortage of the hygiene product in the country.

As of 7:00 IST (3:30 CEST) on Sunday 5 April, there had been 3,588 confirmed coronavirus cases and 86 deaths in India, where a 21-day lockdown is currently in force. 229 people in the country have recovered after contracting Covid-19.

See also | India coronavirus situation: total cases and deaths

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