Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: India turns off lights at 9 pm on PM Modi’s appeal
Globally, the COVID-19 virus has infected over 1.2 million people and has left nearly 65,000 dead. In India, there are 3,577 cases and 83 deaths.
By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: April 6, 2020 7:56:06 am
People light lamps, torches and flashlights of their phones from 9 pm to 9.09 pm in Ahmadabad on Sunday. (Express photo: Javed Raja)
At 9 pm on Sunday, the country participated in the nine-minutes ‘lights-off’ exercise as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. While Diyas and candles were lit in most houses, many people also burst crackers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to people to light candles and diyas, or switch on torches or mobile phone flashlights, for nine minutes at 9 pm today, to “illuminate the common purpose we are all fighting for”. “The light from the lamps will show that we are together in this battle,” he said.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,577 and the death toll rose to 83 on Sunday after 505 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The active COVID-19 cases stand at 3,219, while 274 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated. Seven deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry data stated. Earlier today, the Indian Council of Medical Research said there was no evidence of COVID-19 being an airborne infection. “If this was an airborne infection not droplet infection, every person in a family would be infected, same would apply for other patients in a hospital,” an ICMR official said.
Shiv Sena volunteers sanitise the area at Kamathipura in Mumbai. (Express photo/Nirmal Harindran)
Globally, the COVID-19 virus has infected over 1.2 million people and has left nearly 65,000 dead. In the United States, which is among the worst-affected countries with 3 lakhs cases, President Donald Trump said, "There's going to be a lot of death," and added that the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic. Dubai imposed a two-week lockdown Saturday night and Saudi Arabia sealed off parts of the Red Sea city of Jeddah as Gulf states tightened measures in big cities to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
So far, 1,023 of the 3,072 positive cases in India have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The cases have come from 17 states and Union Territories — Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
According to the Ministry of Health Affairs, more than 2,000 of the Tablighi Jamaat participants were foreigners. After the gathering, over 800 of them toured various parts of the country. On Thursday, the MHA blacklisted 1,320 foreigners associated with the Tablighi Jamaat for violating visa rules even as it cancelled tourist visas of all such visitors to India.
At 9 pm today, PM Modi has asked people to light candles and diyas, or switch on torches or mobile phone flashlights, for nine minutes. “Amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope. We must continuously strive to take those of us most affected, our poor brothers and sisters, from disappointment to hope,” the Prime Minister said. “And that is why”, Modi said, “this Sunday, on the 5th of April, we must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis, introducing it to the power of light. On this 5th of April, we must awaken the superpower of 130 crore Indians. We must take the super resolve of 130 crore Indians to even greater heights.”
Meanwhile, a group of Union Ministers are discussing the possible steps after India's 21-day lockdown ends on April 14. Directions have already been issued relaxing movement of farm labour given the necessity of farm operations and also the broad pattern so far that rural areas and smaller towns with low population densities are not reporting any significant outbreak.