Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to switch off the lights of their homes on April 5, Sunday, at 9 pm for nine minutes and light up candles, lamps, mobile flashlights to showcase country's collective spirit to defeat the novel coronavirus. "In that brightness, we should resolve that we are not alone. Nobody is alone," Modi said. Switch Off All Lights, Light Candle, Diya, Torch or Mobile Phone Flash For 9 Minutes on Sunday at 9 PM to Beat The Darkness Brought by Coronavirus: PM Narendra Modi to India.
Soon, the Prime Minister's video message went viral on social media with netizens using #9Baje9Minute, #PMModi, #DiyaJalao and #ModiVideoMessage among other tags. However, the official Twitter handle of MyGovIndia tweeted a video of Dr KK Agarwal, former President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), explaining the "scientific reason" behind the activity. The tweet was deleted minutes later. Will Indian Citizen Follow 5th April 9pm....as Thali and Taali Campaign? These Tweets and Funny Memes Suggests Netizens are 'Serious'.
In the video clip, which is now deleted, Dr Agarwal can be heard saying that PM Modi's suggestion of "collective consciousness of people will ensure that the virus does not attach itself on the ACE2-receptor."
Watch the Video Which Was Deleted by MyGovIndia:
Here's the video... it's pure magic (says we can stop the virus binding to ACE2 receptors through our consciousness) pic.twitter.com/wA3KzmDB7Y
— Firas D | flockpath.com (@firasd) April 3, 2020
Screengrab of MyGovIndia's Tweet:
Another Twitter user claimed that the date and time for Sunday activity have been smartly chosen by PM Modi as "the Saturn be in Swati nakshatra & the moon will be in the Rohini nakshatra. Lighting natural lights will allow the cosmic waves to enter our bodies and create the antibodies for corona."
"These cosmic waves wake up the sleeping neutrons in our bodies which are neutral. This helps our body to create neutral antibodies which can neutralise the negatively charged coronavirus and make our thoughts and actions positive," the claim said.
These cosmic waves wake up the sleeping neutrons in our bodies which are neutral. This helps our body to create neutral antibodies which can neutralise the negatively charged corona virus and make our thoughts and actions positive.
— علي (@OpusOfAli) April 3, 2020
But are these claims correct, can "April 5, 9 PM" exercise prevent COVID-19? To investigate the claim, we first need to know about ACE2-Receptor.
What is ACE2-Receptor?
Angiotensin converting enzyme 2, or ACE2 receptor is a chunk of protein present in the lung cells. The molecules generally play a role in modulating hormone activity within the body. However, the ACE2 receptor is serving as an anchor for COVID-19. "As the spike protein bumps up against the surface of the lung cell, its shape matches that of the ACE2 so closely that it sticks to it like adhesive. The membrane of the virus then fuses with the membrane of the cell, spilling the RNA contents into the interior of the lung cell. The virus is in," explains New York Magazine.
So, does the "April 5, 9 PM exercise" can prevent coronavirus. The answer is NO. According to the World Health Organisation and other health organisations, the spread of COVID-19 can be only prevented by maintaining social distancing and personal hygiene.
To ensure this, the Indian government has also announced a 21-day lockdown and urged people to wash their hands frequently. PM Narendra Modi, too, while appealing to people to light lamps, candles, torch lights and mobile phone flashlights, asked people not to head out of their houses to do so. He also did not make any claim on any scientific reasoning behind the entire nine-minute exercise. The Twitter handle MyGovIndia also deleted its tweet on such a claim and therefore, readers are requested not to circulate the tweet as it has been taken down.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 2,301, while the death toll has reached 56.