Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strategy on countering the coronavirus threat has blunted the opposition's criticism of his government's handling of the pandemic. PM Modi has been vociferous both within his party and the cabinet, asking them to go only by expert advice and not to tweet or be swayed by any fringe group showing remedies like cow urine.
Without naming them, PM Modi told ministers and MPs to behave responsibly and go by only expert advice, which the Health Ministry and his office send.
According to cabinet ministers, PM Modi has been carefully monitoring the situation and is heeding every advice given by experts. "He is three steps ahead of us and monitoring is taking place morning, noon and night. The decision is already taken and only the process of consultation takes place before the formal orders are done," a minister who asked not to be identified told NDTV.
The opposition appears to be divided with the government's response. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took the lead in criticising the government for the way it handled the coronavirus threat.
Many within his party, however, differed with him on the government's handling of the threat and argued that the centre has taken steps to contain and respond well to the crisis.
They said the Health Ministry has taken significant steps in ensuring that COVID-19 does not spread to stage 3, where transmission of the disease is rapid.
Some Congress leaders have said the government must take measures to ensure that the sectors affected by the coronavirus are given a boost or their taxes eased to cover for the losses they have incurred due to the self-imposed shutdown.
The government is likely to take some measures when the cabinet meets on Friday. PM Modi, the Finance Minister and others are in touch with industry leaders of the sectors to ensure a suitable package is given to help them.