New Delhi: Leading US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has suggested a lockdown for a few weeks in India as an immediate measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus, its deadly second wave showing no signs of ebbing.

Fauci, in an interview with The Indian Express, said another most important thing right now is getting oxygen, medicine and PPE.

He said that looking at the scale of the crisis, India should consider putting together a crisis group that would come together and start organizing things.

Without naming any government, he said one of the things that should have been recognized that “victory has been declared perhaps too prematurely”.

“Well, one of the things you really need to do, as far as you can, is to shut the country down temporarily, I think that’s important. If we’re going to take the time and get back to what I have. says: there is the immediate, intermediate and long distance (measures to contain the virus).

“I think the most important thing right now is to get oxygen, to get supplies, to get medicine, to get PPE, that sort of thing, but also, one of the immediate things to do is basically call for the closure of the country, ”said Fauci, who is the administration’s chief medical adviser Joe Biden.

He said when China experienced a big explosion of coronavirus cases a year ago, they closed their doors completely.

Fauci said it was not necessary to quit for six months, but it could be temporary to end the cycle of transmission.

So one of the things to consider is to shut down temporarily, he said.

“Literally lock yourself in so you end up having less spread. Nobody likes to lock the country down. Well that’s a problem when you do that for six months,” he said.

But just a few weeks of lockdown could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.

Some states have imposed a lockdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month said the lockdown should be the ‘last resort’ to deal with the raging pandemic and called on states to convince migrant workers to stay at their workplaces with a guarantee for their lives and livelihoods.

Breaking all previous records, India hit a daily record on Saturday with more than 4 lakh of new infections, while active cases crossed the 32 lakh mark.

The second wave of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc, infecting lakhs and killing thousands of people every day over the past few days. There have been cases where people have died for lack of medical facilities, including oxygen. In many cases, families need to provide oxygen for their patients because they cannot be admitted to hospitals.

“I heard people on the streets bringing their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers for oxygen. They seem to think there really was no organization, no central organization,” said Fauci.

Emphasizing that vaccination plays a crucial role in managing the coronavirus situation, Fauci said that while India, a country of 1.4 billion people, had only fully vaccinated 2% of its total population, so he still had a very long way to go.

“You have to stock up. You have to enter into contractual agreements with the various companies that exist in the world. Many companies now have vaccines. I think you have to negotiate with them to try to get a commitment, ”he said.

“And also, India is the biggest vaccine producing country in the world. That’s the problem – you should build your own capacity to make vaccines,” he added.