Lights off; diyas, candles on: Foreign missions, envoys to join PM Narendra Modi's 9-minute call against coronavirus covid-19

Several foreign missions have come out in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call of solidarity by switching off lights and lighting up diyas, candles and torches at 9 pm on Sunday night at mission offices and residences of diplomats.

Lights off; diyas, candles on: Foreign missions, envoys to join PM Narendra Modi's 9-minute call against coronavirus covid-19

New Delhi: Several foreign missions have come out in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call of solidarity by switching off lights and lighting up diyas, candles and torches at 9 pm on Sunday night at mission offices and residences of diplomats.

PM Modi had called for switching off of lights for nine minutes and lighting up candles, diyas or torches as a mark of solidarity with each other while the world fights the COVID-19 challenge.

In the South Asian region -- Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives missions have confirmed that they participate in the nationwide solidarity call against COVID-19.

Afghan Envoy Tahir Qadiry, who has been very busy leading the evacuation of Afghan nations also enthusiastically supported the call. He said, "I will be switching off lights and lighting a candle at 9 pm tonight for 9 minutes to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to showcase our solidarity and our concerted efforts in a battle against the coronavirus pandemic."

"Let’s all pledge to diligently maintain social distancing and take right precautions," he added.

Nepal's envoy Nilamber Acharya told WION, "We, Nepal and India, are all in full solidarity in this fight against COVID-19 pandemic."

While, Bangladesh envoy Mohammad Imran echoed the same sentiment saying, "We will participate in the nationwide collective resolve to defeat coronavirus."

Meanwhile, outside the south Asian region, missions and diplomats from Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Israel, German, Tunisia, Mexico have confirmed participation. 

British acting high commissioner Jan Thompson also confirmed her participation in PM's solidarity call.

Polish envoy Adam Burakowski told WION, "Poland stands united with India and with all the world to fight the coronavirus. I am sure that if we all take preventive measures, the threat will be much lower and that we would recover soon. Long live Polish-Indian friendship!"

Polish community in Delhi will also participate in the event, he confirmed.

Vietnam's Ambassador to India, Pham Sanh Chau said, "All our 30 diplomatic residences and offices will join in Prime Minister Modi’s call to show solidarity in the fight against coronavirus by lighting up candles at 9:00 pm tonight."

German envoy Walter J. Lindner in response to WIONs question on the mission's participation said, "Will do! Underlining our common effort to get through this together!"

In a tweet, Israeli deputy chief of mission Maya Kadosh said," I gathered all my candle holders and placed them out at my windows #9pm9minutes"

Earlier in March, PM Modi had called for a 14-hour self imposed isolation, the 'Janta curfew', and had urged everyone to come out at 5 pm and ring bells, the missions and foreign diplomats had participated in that too.