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India needs something more than the claps and lighting lamps to fight COVID-19

This morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation via a brief video message, in which he urged people, once again, to stay inside their homes during the lockdown. Modi also call to light candles on Sunday, 5th April at 9 pm to fight the darkness of coronavirus, many see this as empty symbolism and “curating a feel-good moment” without announcing concrete economic measures. Fifty-six people have died after being infected by the novel coronavirus, with six of those deaths being reported in a 24-hour period.

Across the country the number of confirmed cases is now 2,301, with 336 new cases detected in the past 24 hours. A total of 157 people has been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment. Worldwide the number of COVID-19 positive cases has crossed 1 million, with over 50,000 dead.

On Thursday the World Bank approved $1 billion in emergency financing for India to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, while warning the world that the impact of the pandemic would hit economies hard. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi are the worst-affected with 335,309, 286 and 219 confirmed cases, respectively. A total of 23 people has died from these four states, with 16 in Maharashtra alone. Tamil Nadu has seen a massive spike with 75 new cases reported. Much of the spike in the southern state and those in others such as Assam and Andhra Pradesh, has been linked to a controversial religious gathering in south Delhi’s Nizamuddin this month, which has been declared a coronavirus hotspot. Country have received lot of funds from various counter parts and donations from big business groups. Money is flowing to government but the situation is not much changed. Amid all this glitch, PM comes out with his innovative suggestions like clap, burn candles.

Water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon, and a host of other minor compounds. Imagine millions of people burning candles across India, conventionally-made candles are packed with some of the worst chemicals available, to the point that some compare breathing the fumes of a paraffin candle to breathing the exhaust from a diesel engine. Paraffin is the nasty by-product of gas and oil refineries. It comes out of the ground grayish and oozing, then gets bleached with chemical solvents and mixed with heavy fragrances to prepare it for use in pretty candles. Burned paraffin candles emit many pollutants and carcinogens like benzene and toluene, each of which have been connected to cancer, asthma and birth defects. On top of that, candle wicks can contain heavy metals like lead. And, fortunately, there are numerous candle varieties out there that aren’t full of chemicals. In fact, some candles (those made from pure beeswax in particular) actually purify the air by removing pollution and allergens through the emission of negative ions, but these candles are not in reach of common man.

In the video speech, PM Modi said we need to fight against the darkness of coronavirus with light within us. I agree people are facing many difficulties. These are difficult times and difficult solutions are imposed. He urged the country to unite and make sure that they are taking all the precautions as a part of their national duty. PM Modi also asked the nation to turn off all lights in the house at 9 pm on April 5, 2020, stand at their doors or windows with a Candle, Diya, Torch, etc for nine minutes to show respect and the unity in the nation and to keep the darkness of coronavirus at bay. Look at the temperature of India at this moment and think what would happen when billions of people burn candles or oil lamps. Unnecessary heat would be created, air pollution and oxygen levels would go down. Now the average temperature in India is around 28-degree, this natural heat itself is in better condition to combat this deadly disease as this virus is temperature dependent. Remember, prevention is better than cure. So, don’t act like a hero and roam freely on the streets. You haven’t gauged your own immunity level and the strength of the virus. Although since last time people misheard his announcement and went out on road during the ‘Janta Curfew‘, this time he specifically urged and warned citizens to not gather on the streets and maintain social distancing. While many appreciated this decision, as soon as Modi announced ‘9 PM, 9 minutes’ plan, but please don’t rush to shops to gather candles just because our beloved Modi said.

Also Read:

COVID-19: 1.3 billion people of India to lit candles on 5th April

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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