As India entered the 10th day of the 21-day lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting with 40 top sportspersons from various sports via video conferencing, amid the COVID-19 situation in the country. PM Modi will also hold a meeting with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly through video conference later in the day. This comes amid most sporting events being cancelled or postponed worldwide, from Euro 2020 to Wimbledon, and from IPL (though not indefinitely) to even the Olympics.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed the nation, putting forth his April 5 '9 pm - 9 minutes' appeal to express unity as India's battle with COVID-19 intensifies.
"On this Sunday, April 5, we will challenge the darkness of Coronavirus threat together. On April 5, at 9 pm, I need your 9 minutes. At 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your houses and light a Diya, candle, torch or flashlight for 9 minutes at your doors, or balcony," PM Modi said.
#BREAKING | On Sunday, April 5, we must challenge Coronavirus & introduce it to the power of light; 1.3 billion people must show their united power, at 9 pm for 9 minutes, by turning off all lights at home, standing at balconies, & lighting diyas, candles, flashlights: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/siMps9KpMt— Republic (@republic) April 3, 2020
PM on Thursday held a meeting with Chief Ministers, through video conferencing, to review the COVID-19 situation in the country. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah were also present at the meeting.
In the meeting, PM Modi accepted Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's suggestion that religious leaders should be asked to refrain from holding large gatherings. The Prime Minister accepted Thackeray's suggestion and asked all CMs to speak to religious leaders from their respective states and ask them to tell the community members about the need for social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, the Maharashtra CMO said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)