India switches off lights in solidarity amid coronavirus pandemic

Millions of Indians switched off their lights for nine minutes on Sunday, lighting candles, lamps, or flashlights to express resilience during the coronavirus pandemic.

Across major cities and towns in the world's second-most populous country of 1.3 billion people, many heeded the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn off their lights at 9:00 p.m. local time.

Many clapped, burst firecrackers, rang bells, blew conch shells, and lit lamps outside their homes.

Residents shouted "Hail mother India" and "go corona go". They cheered, clapped, and set off firecrackers and fireworks that shattered the quiet evening, in scenes reminiscent of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Street lighting and lights in essential services like public utilities, municipal services, police stations and manufacturing facilities remained switched on.