At 5 pm on Sunday evening, the atmosphere on several streets and inside housing estates was not that of a country battling rising cases of a pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested Indians to step out in their balconies at 5 pm on Sunday and clap or beat on plates for five minutes to express their gratitude towards medical professionals and other essential services providers who have kept the society functional amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Indians, however, saw this as an opportunity to step out in large groups (despite recommendations for social distancing) to dance and celebrate, although the reason for celebration was lost on both the revellers and onlookers looking at them.

Shockingly, among those who led gatherings of people standing closely together was Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala (video below).

A few of those dancing in the streets also thought that this would be an appropriate occasion to bring the tricolour to the streets.

In fact, many social media users compared the visuals to those that are usually seen after India wins major cricket tournaments.

Here are some videos of how at 5 pm on Sunday, Indians forgot all norms of social distancing during these crucial times.

Despite a fact check by the Press Information Bureau of India, many Indians continued to believe that the sounds made during the exercise would ward off the coronavirus. Hence, the clapping and the beating of the utensils at many places were accompanied by chants of “go corona”.