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India should set up field hospitals like in an armed conflict to battle COVID-19 surge: Dr Anthony Fauci

Updated : May 06, 2021 23:53:51 IST

In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18's Zakka Jacob, Chief Medical Advisor to the US President, Dr Anthony Fauci said that India needs to shut down most of the country for four weeks to break the COVID-19 transmission chain.

"It is clear that India needs to take the step of shutting down most of the country, particularly the involved areas. You don't need to shut down for six months, you just need to break down the chain of transmission and one can do that by shutting down to the extent possible for 3-4 weeks. As soon as the cases start coming down and you vaccinate more people, then you can get ahead of the trajectory of the outbreak. Obviously you got to get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can," Dr Fauci explained.

He stressed that shutting down the country for a limited period will be beneficial to the economy.

"From experiences that we have now had throughout the world is that the economy is going to suffer badly if you don't control the outbreak. So when you are preserving the economy versus keeping the outbreak going, the best thing to do is to shut down the outbreak. When you close for a few weeks the economy will recover without a doubt. If you are shutting down just long enough to break the chain of transmission, in the long run it will be beneficial to the economy as opposed to detrimental to the economy," he highlighted.

Fauci said that India needs to mobilise the military to put up field hospitals like it would be done during an armed conflict, and that could temporarily alleviate the shortage of hospital beds.

"In India there is a dire need for hospital beds. People are actually not able to get a hospital bed. So the United States has responded both with oxygen cylinders as well as oxygen generators, PPE etc. However when the Chinese has their big surge over a year ago, they very rapidly put up field hospitals. So if India could mobilise the Indian military to help out and maybe put up field hospitals the way you would do during armed conflict, which could temporarily alleviate the shortage of hospital beds," Dr Fauci said.

Watch the video for more.
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