May 1, 2021 - Health

Fauci: India should "temporarily shut down" amid COVID-19 rise

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Photo: Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in an interview that India ought to consider a temporary shutdown as the country currently faces the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world.

By the numbers: India on Saturday for the first time reported more than 400,000 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, Reuters writes. The country also reported a total of 211,853 deaths.

What he's saying: "There is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range. I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country," Fauci told the Indian Express.

  • "We know that when China had this big explosion 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."
  • Fauci also said India should consider building makeshift hospitals, like those in China: "The intermediate — to get hospitals built quickly. I mean really quickly, within a matter of — you know, they put up these field hospitals that they built during war."
    • "You should think of this, in some respects, like a war. The enemy is the virus. So you know where the enemy is, so I would make it almost like wartime because it’s an emergency."

Worth noting: The White House announced it will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday, citing the steep rise in cases in the country and possible emergence of multiple variants.

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