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Indians respond to PM Modi’s call, light lamps to ‘challenge darkness’ of corona crisis

Millions of Indians switched off their lights and came out onto their balconies and doorsteps with lamps, candles and flashlights on Sunday, responding to PM Narendra Modi’s call to “challenge the darkness” of the coronavirus crisis.

PM Modi, who last month imposed a three-week-long nationwide lockdown, asked citizens to turn out their lights for nine minutes at 9pm (local time) on Sunday and to display lamps and candles in a show of solidarity.

People across the country switched off lights. Some lit firecrackers, played drums, clapped and chanted slogans against the Covid-19.

In some big cities like Mumbai and New Delhi, residents of some housing associations stood in balconies and sang “GO CORONA GO”.

India has recorded 3,577 cases of the coronavirus, with a death toll of 83. Authorities worry that the healthcare system would be overwhelmed if the disease took deep hold in the country of more than 1.3 billion.

Many of Prime minister’s supporters praised the “show of lights” by sharing pictures on Twitter of their neighbourhoods and saying it felt like Diwali — the annual Hindu festival of lights.

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