Thousands across India are outraged after the government ordered social media platform Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the virus.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed it had blocked some material from being viewed in India.
The country faces a massive surge in cases, with many of its hospitals facing an oxygen shortage.
One Twitter user accused the government of “finding it easier to take down tweets than ensure oxygen supplies”.
The government made an emergency order to censor the tweets, Twitter revealed on Lumen, a database that keeps track of global government orders around online content.
Twitter said it reviewed content when it received a “valid legal request” in this case, the Indian government is said to have cited the Information Technology Act 2000.
“If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only,” the platform said.
An Indian official said the material in question was misleading or could spark panic.
“We cannot allow fake news that harms the country,” BJP national spokesperson Gopal Agarwal told the BBC.
The crisis was being worsened by fake news, he explained, pointing out that social media content had to be in line with the rule of law.
But on social media, many criticised the government for focusing on “censorship” while the country was in the midst of a “humanitarian disaster”.
Many online also criticised Twitter for complying with the order, calling them “complicit”.
Twitter has been overrun by reports of people falling sick, needing oxygen and beds. It has in the past been criticised for bowing to pressure from the Indian government.
In February, the platform blocked more than 500 accounts linked to ongoing farmer protests against agricultural reforms after the government issued a legal notice. If Twitter had not complied, it could have meant jail time for Twitter’s employees in India.