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    Government to stop daily Covid briefings

    Synopsis

    Health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal has given daily press briefings beginning March to update the country on the government’s response to the pandemic, which has so far killed more than 3,000 people in India.

    ANI
    Coronavirus

    COVID-19 CASES

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    968,876
    Deaths
    24,915
    New Delhi: After holding press briefings every day on the coronavirus outbreak for about two months, the government has decided to halt the daily session and make it possibly "once in a week affair", as India enters the phase four of the lockdown.

    Health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal has given daily press briefings beginning March to update the country on the government’s response to the pandemic, which has so far killed more than 3,000 people in India.

    However, the health ministry has not had a press briefing since May 11. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) representatives, who used to be a crucial part of the briefings, stopped attending the sessions since April 24.

    Government officials told ET that it has been decided to limit the frequency of the briefings and rather do it “as and when required”.

    “It can either be done once a week or as and when required. There is no need to have a press briefing every day. The numbers can be communicated through the press statements that will be issued every day,” an official said.

    Some public health experts said uncomfortable questions on issues such as community transmission and the failure of antibody test kits may have led the ministry to stop the daily session, especially as India showed a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases around the time a government’s presentation had predicted it would nosedive.

    “These concerns came to the fore after the government representative spoke off-the-cuff that there was no community transmission. The repeated questions made them uncomfortable and that’s why first they removed the ICMR from the briefings and now decided to go silent,” said a public health activist, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    13 Comments on this Story

    Sundarv 56 days ago
    Unfortunate. More so if the briefings are being stopped for the reasons mentioned by activists (as stated in the end of the report), namely to avoid uncomfortable questions.
    yignisol56 days ago
    Feku's major focus is on statues-bullet trains-lavish foreign vacations-whatsup messages-buying MP-MLA-media-election commission-judges; which help no one except his misguided ego.IN last 7 yrs,i never heard modi announcing he will build hospitals or train nurses or doctors etc.Feku is all about jumla and big talk.When i go to south mumbai,most of basic infra is built by british and congress govt.When i visit any part of nation,i see everything built under congress raj.I see no dams,roads,bridges,schools,factories,colleges,hospitals built by BJP govt.BJP works only for rich who already have best healthcare available.
    Kris57 days ago
    Briefing personnel looks equally foolish as government.
    The Economic Times