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India surpassed another grim milestone as the country’s total number of coronavirus infections topped 20 million on Tuesday. Over 350,000 new cases on Tuesday were reported as the opposition slammed the government’s handling of the pandemic. “The only way to stop the spread of Corona now is a full lockdown,” tweeted opposition leader and the president of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi. “GOI’s inaction is killing many innocent people,” he said, referring to the Government of India.

Despite calls for harsher restrictions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown reluctance in declaring a nationwide lockdown over possible repercussions on the flailing economy. However, several states have imposed strict lockdowns as the latest wave of the virus brings the country’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees. Many hospitals face a shortage of beds and supplies, especially medical oxygen, with citizens turning to social media to amplify calls for basic necessities.

Untrue news stories, unverified information and conspiracy theories circulating on social media have been causing uncertainty and anxiety, and posing hurdles to coming up with an effective response to the crisis.

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