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America's top public health expert and White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci on Monday recommended a nationwide lockdown, massive vaccination drive and construction of a large number of makeshift hospitals to control the second wave of coronavirus in India.
"It is quite obvious to everyone that the situation in India is extremely serious," said Dr Fauci, who is considered one of the world's top infectious disease specialists in an interview.
"When you have so many people getting infected... the lack of the capability to take adequate care of everyone; when you have shortages of hospital beds and oxygen and shortages of supplies, that really becomes a very desperate situation. Which is the reason why we feel it's important for the rest of the world to help out, to the extent they can," said Dr Fauci.
Dr Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, further said that there are certain things that India can do immediately, mid-term and long-term basis.
Mass- Vaccination Drive
"First of all right now, they should start getting as many people vaccinated as they possibly can, with both the vaccines that they develop themselves in India as well as supplies of vaccines that they may be able to procure from other suppliers, be that the United States, be that Russia... whatever country is willing whenever companies are willing to supply vaccine," said Dr Fauci.
"But the solution immediately right now is, and I know India is already doing it, so I'm not telling you something that you are not already doing. A few days ago, I recommended and I believe at least parts of India are doing it, that you shut down the country in lockdown," he said.
Dr Fauci also remarked that there was merit in a complete lockdown for a few weeks as done by other countries like China and New Zealand, reported Times Now.
"Because other countries, including for example what China did last year, what Australia did when they had an outbreak, what New Zealand did, what other countries did is to completely lockdown for a relatively limited period of time. You don't have to lock down for six months. You can lockdown for a few weeks. Because when you lockdown, it is well known, with the experience of other countries that locking down, definitely interferes with the dynamics of the viral outbreak, and you could interfere with the continuity and the transmission of infection," said Dr Fauci while talking about the lockdown.
Further, he suggested taking the help of the armed forces to immediately build makeshift field hospitals, referring to media reports on the drastic shortage of hospital beds.
"You will recall, last year when China had a very serious problem, they marshalled their resources to very, very rapidly build new hospitals, to be able to handle all the people who required hospitalisation," he said.
Dr Fauci also added that preparing such makeshift hospitals would be possible, perhaps, with the help of their own military. He further said to put up field hospitals as a country would do in a wartime setting so that people who are sick and require a hospital bed will have a hospital bed.
Dr Fauci said the world can help by supplying India with materials and perhaps even personnel that they need to adequately address it. Dr Fauci mentioned that India often helps other countries in emergency situations.
"Given the fact that India is under such terrible stress right now with the extent of the outbreak, the rest of the world should pitch in to help them, similar to what the United States is doing," he said.
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