‘Shut down the country for a few weeks’: Dr Anthony Fauci on India’s Covid Crisis
Top US epidemiologist and the White House chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, on Friday suggested a host of meaures that India should immediately adopt to tackle the deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections. Fauci, in an interview with The Indian Express, recommended an immediate lockdown to break the cycle of transmission in the country.
“Well, one of the things you really need to do, to the extent that you can, is shut down temporarily the country, I think is important. If we want to time out and go back to what I said: there is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range (measures to contain the virus).
Dr Fauci also suggested setting up of emergency units as hospitals like China and having a central organisation. He said looking at the magnitude of the crisis, India should look at putting together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organised.
Without naming any government, he said one of the things that should have been recognised that “victory was declared maybe too prematurely”.
“I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country,” said Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to the Biden administration.
He said when China had a big explosion of coronavirus cases a year ago, they completely shut down. Fauci said it is not necessary to shut down for six months, but it can be a temporary one to put an end to the cycle of transmission.
“One of the things that you can do to prevent this prolonging — you’ve got to look at it in multiple different phases. For example, vaccinating people right now, which you absolutely must, must do — it’s essential — is not going to alleviate the immediate problem of people needing oxygen, needing hospitalisation, needing medical care. That’s not going to fix it now because vaccinating people today, it’s going to be a few weeks before you alleviate the prevention of other people getting sick,” he told the daily.
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Urging the world to come together to India rescue,,”Like the USA, other countries should also to come in and help India right now because India has been very generous in the past crises in helping other countries. Now is the time other countries to try to alleviate the immediate problem that India has. That’s the first thing.”
Some states have imposed a lockdown. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said lockdown should be the “last resort” to deal with the raging pandemic and asked states to convince migrant workers to stay put at their places of work with a guarantee for their lives and livelihood.
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