14:01 GMT01 June 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India is currently under a 21-day lockdown until 14 April. On 22 March, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi appealed to citizens to bang utensils at 5 p.m for five minutes to honour healthcare providers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Indian power ministry has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 9-minute blackout at 9 p.m. on 5 April as a gesture of joint resolve in the fight against Covid-19 will not lead to a grid failure. Modi has urged people to light up earthen lamps, candles or mobile flash lights in those nine minutes. 

    The Ministry has emphasised that the Indian electricity grid is robust and stable, and adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand.   

    Claiming that all local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety, the power ministry said, “There is no call to switch off either street lights or appliances like computers, televisions, fans, refrigerators and air conditioners in the homes. Only lights should be switched off.”

    “The lights in hospitals and all other essential services like public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities will remain on. The call given by PM is to just switch off lights in residences,” said the release.

    Amid concerns that there could be grid collapse, the power ministry on Friday held a series of meetings with the Power Grid Corporation, which manages the national grids across the country.

    On Friday, Modi called on his countrymen to “turn of all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in you balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights” in a symbolic action to combat coronavirus amid a 21-day lockdown, which was introduced on 24 March.

    India has confirmed nearly 3,000 coronavirus cases and 68 deaths.

     

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