Shutdown for a few weeks, will help India fight Covid-19, says Dr Fauci

India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 1,95,57,457, the highest since the pandemic started in 2020, with 33,49,644 active cases and 2,15,542 deaths so far…reports Asian Lite News.

As India recorded 3,92,488 new Covid-19 cases and 3,689 fatalities, Dr Anthony S Fauci, one of Covid’s most trusted global voices said no nation likes to lock itself down but a shutdown for a “few weeks” could put an end to the cycle of transmission in India. He said the move will provide a window to take critical “immediate, intermediate, and long range” steps out of this “very difficult and desperate” situation.

Minister of Health Dr. Harsh Vardhan visits the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to review the COVID-19 preparedness, in New Delhi (PIB)

It is the 11th day in a row when India recorded more than 3 lakh cases while over 3,000 casualties have been reported for the past five days.

Speaking to Indian Express, Dr Fauci said, “The one thing I don’t want to do and I hope it doesn’t turn out this way, is to get involved in any sort of criticism of how India has handled the situation because then it becomes a political issue and I don’t want to do that since I’m a public health person and I’m not a political person.”

India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 1,95,57,457, the highest since the pandemic started in 2020, with 33,49,644 active cases and 2,15,542 deaths so far.

(Pallav)

“I mean, first of all, I don’t know if India has put together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organised. I heard from some of the people in the street bringing their mothers and their fathers and their sisters and their brothers searching for oxygen. They seem to think there really was not any organisation, any central organisation,” Dr Fauci said.

According to MoHFW, 3,07,865 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours after getting cured, taking the total recoveries to 1,59,92,271.

“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,” Dr Fauci said.

The health ministry said that a total of 15,68,16,031 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 18,26,219 people administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

“Then the intermediate. I think you need — what the Chinese did when they had a crisis, you might recall, literally, within a few days to weeks they built these emergency units that served as hospitals to take care of people. It was an accomplishment that everybody marvelled at. It just seems to me, what I was viewing on television, what people were looking for a desperate need for hospital and care. That’s the first thing,” Dr Fauci added.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 29,01,42,339 samples have been tested up to May 1, 2021 for Covid-19, of these 18,04,954 samples were tested on Saturday.

“And, finally, in the longer range, in a matter of a couple weeks, I would do whatever you can do to get vaccinated. To have a country like India, where two per cent of people are vaccinated, is a very serious situation. You absolutely have to get more people vaccinated,” he added.

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