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Total lockdown for few weeks needed in India: Dr Fauci on surging COVID cases
Fauci also appealed to the world to come together to rescue India.
A complete lockdown for few weeks is needed in India to contain the spread of coronavirus as its deadly second wave shows no signs of receding, suggested America’s top pandemic expert and the White House chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci. Speaking to Indian Express, Dr Fauci, prescribed a number of measures that the government should immediately adopt to flatten the curve. “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)”, Express quoted the top epidemiologist as saying.
Citing reference to China, he said that they (China) had a big explosion of coronavirus cases a year ago, they completely shut down. “And if you shut down, you don’t have to shut down for six months. You can shut down temporarily to put an end to the cycle of transmission. So one of the things to be considered is to temporarily shut down. Literally, lockdown so that you wind up having less spread,” he asserted.
He stated that no one likes to lock down the country, but ‘few weeks of shutdown could have a significant impact’. “Well, that’s a problem when you do it for six months. But just for a few weeks of lockdown could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak,” he assured.
Fauci also appealed to the world to come together to rescue India. He said,”I would think that you’ve got to get some sort of a commission, or an emergency group to make a plan how to get oxygen; how do we get supplies; how do we get medications, and call — maybe with help from WHO — countries. Like the USA, other countries should also 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.”
He also suggested India to follow China’s footsteps and built emergency unit to save lives. “India should follow what the Chinese did when they had a crisis, he said. “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”, he stated.
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.
Breaching its all previous records, India on Saturday hit a record daily high with over 4 lakh new infections, while the active cases crossed the 32-lakh mark. The second wave of the coronavirus has been wreaking havoc, infecting lakhs and killing thousands every day for the past few days. There have been cases where people have died due to lack of medical facilities, including oxygen. In many cases, families have to arrange oxygen for their patients as they are not able to get admission in hospitals.