The information flow from the government on the coronavirus pandemic in the country has slowed down to a trickle as the numbers spiraled. From a detailed briefing to the media by health ministry officials, which started sometime in the mid-March, the communication has shrunk to a press release every day.
Asked if the movement towards press statements was a change in policy, a top official in the health ministry told NDTV, “Every day the government is making press statements”.
In the last week of March, the government had asked the Supreme Court to direct the media to publish only the official version of the coronavirus situation.
No gag order was issued. But the judges did say that they do not “intend to interfere with the free discussion about the pandemic, but direct the media refer to and publish the official version about the developments”.
The court also directed the government to issue daily bulletins through all media, including social media and other forums to clear the doubts of people.
The last press briefing by the government took place on May 11, when the number of cases in the country was around 67,152.