Covid-19: Let's unite in lighting lamps at 9 pm on Apr 5, PM urges nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on coronavirus lockdown
Addressing the nation in a video message on the ninth day of the lockdown today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the discipline and restraint shown by the people was unprecedented. The government, administration and the public have done their best to deal with this problem, he said.

The way you greeted and appreciated the coronavirus fighters on March 22 was exemplary; everyone everywhere is trying to emulate you. You have shown to the world that an entire country can unite and fight against a crisis like this. Now that everyone is locked in at home, many would be feeling alone and wondering what they could do alone. It is true that we are at home and under a lockdown but we are not alone, he said. We, 130 billion people, are all in it together, and we must recognise this, he added.

"It is considered that citizens are akin to God in this country. From time to time we recognise the stregth of 1.3 billion people and that gives us strength in this fight against coronavirus. We have to take those who are the most affected by this crisis — the poor, the weaker sections — towards hope and light. This Sunday, April 5, we will all challenge the darkness of coronavirus and show the light of our strength. This Sunday, April 5 at 9 pm, I want your 9 minutes. 1.3 billion people of the country should switch off the lights of their homes, stand at their doors and light candles, lamps, torches or their mobile flashlights," the PM said.

"In that light on Sunday night, we will all resolve that none of us is alone. All 1.3 bn people will resolve this and draw combined strength from each other," he added.

PM Modi clarified that nobody has to break the rules of social distancing. People will not gather in groups. People should sit alone for a while, remember God and the strength of the deities, and recognise our combined strength as a nation of 1.3 billion people
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the video message at 9 am today. This was his first video message since he announced a 21-day national lockdown on March 24. The message comes at a time when the total number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country has exceeded the 2,000 mark and more than 50 have died due to the disease.

Yesterday, the prime minister had announced this video release on his personal Twitter handle. He tweeted, "At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll share a small video message with my fellow Indians."


At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll share a small video message with my fellow Indians.

कल सुबह 9 बजे देशवासियों के साथ मैं एक वीडियो संदेश साझा करूंगा।

Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 2, 2020
This came after the Prime Minister held a meeting via video-conference with all the chief ministers in the country on the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. In the meeting he stressed on the strategy of "testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine". He also sought suggestions from states on ensuring a staggered exit from the current 21-day lockdown. He said that the Centre and states needed a common exit strategy from the lockdown.

Earlier the Prime Minister had been criticised for not consulting states before announcing the lockdown which saw large-scale exodus of migrant workers on foot.

Today's video address was the fourth address by the Prime Minister since he announced a janata curfew on March 22. He made the announcement on March 19 and appealed to people to practise social distancing and avoid public spaces. The day-long janata curfew was imposed three days later.

The janata curfew was followed by another announcement on March 24 of a 21-day national lockdown by the prime minister. In that address, he had said that unless India’s 1.3 billion people practised social distancing, and the “chain of its spread not broken” within these 21 days, the coronavirus outbreak could push the country back by 21 years, and several families would be devastated for ever.

On March 29, Modi addressed the nation once again in his Mann Ki Baat program. In this radio address, he apologised for the 21-day nationwide lockdown having inconvenienced people, but said tough decisions were needed to “nip the disease in the bud”.

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