Vaccination only long-term solution for India's worsening Covid crisis: Dr Fauci
- India is struggling with an unprecedented second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 400,000 cases being registered daily in the past few days.
America's top public health expert Dr Anthony Fauci on Sunday called for scaling up the manufacturing of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India as he reiterated that the vaccination is the only long-term solution to control the raging pandemic.
Speaking to local television in the United States, Fauci said, "The endgame of this all...is going to be to get people vaccinated...India is the largest vaccine-producing country in the world. They've got to get their resources, not only from within, but also from without."
Calling for global cooperation, Fauci said, other countries also "need to chip in to be able to get either supply to the Indians to make their own vaccines or to get vaccines donated."
India is struggling with an unprecedented second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 400,000 cases being registered daily in the past few days. With hospitals swamped with patients, the healthcare system has also reached a breaking point. People are struggling to secure things like oximeters, key medicines as the sudden surge has led to an acute shortage of medical necessities.
On Saturday, World Health Organization's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned that a Covid-19 variant spreading in India is more contagious and maybe dodging vaccine protections, contributing to the country's explosive outbreak
US' top epidemiologist, 88-year-old Fauci is one of the leading global voices on coronavirus pandemic. He is currently serving as the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Speaking further on India's Covid-19 situation, Fauci said big companies should scale up manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines in a way that India gets "literally hundreds of millions of doses."
Speaking on ways that India can tackle the raging second wave of Covid-19 in which the daily number of covid-19 cases has soared as high as 400,000, Fauci said India should build makeshift hospitals like what China did a year ago. "You've got to get that. You can't have people out in the street not having a hospital bed," said the chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden in an interview with ABC News.
Calling India's situation "tragic" and said, "the oxygen situation is something that was really critical. I mean, to have people not have oxygen is really tragic."
Further speaking, Fauci underlined the need for a countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. On May 1 as well, Fauci called for a complete lockdown as an immediate step to break the chain of transmission in the country.
"You've got to shut down. I believe several of the Indian states have already done that, but you need to break the chain of transmission. And one of the ways to do that is to shut down," said Fauci on Sunday.
As of Sunday morning, that country has a caseload of 22,662,575 and the death toll stood at 246,116. After the United States, India is the second worst-hit country by the Covid-19 in terms of confirmed cases. It is followed by Brazil at three, France at four and Turkey at fifth number.