20:25 GMT20 October 2020
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his 70th birthday on Thursday, having been showered with greetings and congratulatory messages from politicians and political leaders from around the world. Modi returned the wishes to everyone and thanked them through his social media account.

    Saying that many have asked him what he wants for his 70th birthday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seized the moment to urge people to wear a mask properly and follow social distancing rules as a birthday gift to him.

    "Since many have asked, what is it that I want for my birthday, here is what I seek right now: Keep wearing a mask and wear it properly. Follow social distancing. Remember 'Do Gaj Ki Doori.' (a distance of two yards). Avoid crowded spaces. Improve your immunity. Let us make our planet healthy," PM Modi tweeted. 

    ​Modi’s wish, that people follow COVID-19 protocols came as India's caseload topped 5.2 million on Friday, with 96,400 fresh cases in the last 24 hours and 1,174 new deaths.

    India is the second-worst hit country in the world, following the United States, which has 6.7 million COVID-19 cases.

    Modi also thanked supermodel and actor Milind Soman for his birthday wishes; his humours response took a dig at the opposition Congress party.

    Soman had wished the Prime Minister good health and hoped that he gets a "good and proactive opposition" on his 70th birthday.

    In a tongue-in-cheek response, Modi called it a "wishful thinking", triggering laugh riot of Twitter.

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