Top medical advisor to US President Joe Biden and US epidemiologist Dr Anthony Fauci has said that India needs to shut down the country for a few weeks to curb the spread of Covid-19. This comes on a day when India reported a record 4,01,993 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
In an interview with a leading Indian news organization, Dr Fauci said that the most important thing is to get supplies of oxygen, medicines and PPEs immediately. He added that India should consider putting together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organized.
“I heard from some of the people in the street are bringing their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers in search for oxygen. They seem to think there really was not any organization, any central organization,” Dr Fauci said.
Dr Fauci said a temporary shutdown is enough to end the transmission cycle and it is not necessary to shut down for six months. “Literally, lockdown so that you can have less spread. No one likes to lock down the country," he said, adding that it is a problem when the country locks down for six months. “But just for a few weeks of lockdown could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak,” he pointed out.
He took the example of China and said that the country shut down completely when they had a big explosion of Covid-19 cases. Dr Fauci also pointed out that one of the things that should have been recognised that “victory was declared maybe too prematurely”. However, took no names while making the statement. However, many Indians know who he was talking about.
Dr Fauci said if India has a long way to go if it has fully vaccinated only 2% of its total population. He suggested that India needs to sign contractual arrangements with the various companies producing the Covid vaccine. He also added that India being the largest vaccine-producing country, should increase its capabilities to make vaccines.
With cases surging across the country, several states have imposed curfews, mini-lockdowns, weekend curfews despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that lockdown should be the “last resort” to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the universal vaccination drive underway, several states have said that they are facing a vaccine shortage and are unable to begin vaccination for those between 18-44 years of age. According to reports, states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have reportedly said they are running low on vaccine stocks. However, the Centre government that the states still have one crore doses.
Several states have imposed curfews, mini-lockdowns, weekend curfews despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that lockdown should be the "last resort" to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.