New Delhi: As requested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people across the country are getting ready to light up lamps to ward off the coronavirus darkness from the nation. From the day time till evening, they were seen thronging marketplaces to buy diays and candles to light them at 9 PM. Also Read - People in Delhi Rush to Buy Diyas Ahead of 9 PM 9 Minutes Event

Amid the nationwide lockdown, though the shops barring those selling essential items are shut, a number of makeshift roadside shops and carts have cropped up selling earthen lamps or diyas at various places in the national capital and elsewhere. Also Read - 9 PM, 9-Minute: India Gears up For 'Diya Jalao' Challenge; PM Modi, Shah Remind Citizens to Turn Off Lights Tonight

People were seen buying the earthen lamps, along with other ‘puja samgari’ near various temples. Those makeshift shops were also opened on Sunday. Gatherings at the temples and other religious places too are barred. And those who did not find diyas in their localities contended with candles available at the local general stores. Also Read - 'Aao, Phir se Diya Jalaein', PM Modi Shares Vajpayee's Iconic Poem Day After '9-Minute Blackout' Call

The development comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on April 3 urged the people in a video message to light diyas and candles on April 5 at 9 PM to fight the darkness spread by coronavirus pandemic.

“Friends, amidst the darkness spread by the corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope. We must defeat the deep darkness of the crisis by spreading the glory of light in all four directions,” Prime Minister said in a video message.

“And that is why, this Sunday, on April 5, we must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis, introducing it to the power of light. On this day, we must awaken the superpower of 130 crore Indians. We must take the super resolve of 130 crore Indians to even greater heights,” PM Modi had said.

In the video message, PM Modi asked people to turn off all the lights in their homes and stand at doors or balconies and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes on April 5.

“In that light, in that lustre, in that radiance, let us resolve in our minds that we are not alone, that no one is alone! 130 crore Indians are committed, through a common resolve!” he had said.

Meanwhile, the number of positive cases of coronavirus in the country have surged to 3,374 with 79 deaths.