Shut down India temporarily to put end to cycle of COVID-19 transmission: Anthony Fauci

Amid the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, White House’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has suggested a complete lockdown for a few weeks to curb transmission of the deadly virus, the media reported.

According to Fauci, a temporary lockdown in India is the need of the hour as it could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.

“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,” Fauci told The Indian Express. “We are very pained to see India suffering so much. And that’s the reason why the rest of the world needs to chip in and help,” he added

Alongside lockdown, Fauci emphasised that the most important thing is to get oxygen, supplies, medication, PPE, and vaccinations.

“To have a country like India, where two percent of people are vaccinated, is a very serious situation. You absolutely have to get more people vaccinated,” according to Fauci. “There is suffering now but I guarantee that we will get it back to normal. Hang in there, help each other,” Fauci added.

India on Saturday started the third phase of the vaccination drive covering those above the age of 18 years. However, the exercise began mainly in six states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Odisha. All other states and Union Territories (UTs) have either deferred vaccination for the age group of 18-44 by a few days due to a shortage of vaccine.

India has so far administered 15,49,89,635 doses since January 16 when the world’s largest inoculation exercise started.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) on Saturday said that India witnessed the highest spike of 4,01,999 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 3,523 fatalities due to coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours.

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