Dr Anthony Fauci, US’s chief medical adviser, has said the world and wealthier nations, in particular, have failed India, which is now overwhelmed with the massive number of Covid-19 cases and deaths being recorded every day.
Dr Fauci has told The Guardian that countries have failed to get together and help India avert the mammoth crisis it is witnessing. On Wednesday, India recorded over 3.60 lakh fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest for any country, along with over 3,000 deaths.
Dr Fauci has said the world should have united for a global response to the tragedy that is unfolding in India while also slamming the rich nations for failing to provide equal access to healthcare around the world.
Speaking to Guardian Australia, Dr Fauci said the situation in India is an example of global inequality. India’s Covid-19 death toll crossed the 2 lakh-mark on Wednesday.
“The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response, and a global response means equity throughout the world,” Fauci said. He added, “And that’s something that, unfortunately, has not been accomplished.”
Dr Fauci also added, “So I think that’s a responsibility that the rich countries need to assume. Right now it’s a terrible tragic situation where people are dying because there’s not enough oxygen, where there’s not enough hospital beds. We have to try, looking forward, to get as much equity when it comes to public health issues as we possibly can.”
The top US health adviser who has been spearheading the country’s battle against Covid-19 added that “we are all in this together”.
“It’s an interconnected world. And there are responsibilities that countries have to each other, particularly if you’re a wealthy country and you’re dealing with countries that don’t have the resources or capabilities that you have,” Dr Fauci told The Guardian.
Covid crisis in India
As Covid-19 wreaks havoc in India, the country has so far managed to administer 14.77 crore doses so far, after beginning on January 16. Starting May 1, all adults aged above 18 years will be vaccinated, however, some states have said they do not have enough vaccine stocks to vaccinate the entire adult population.
Meanwhile, the US has said it will release its reserves of 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the world.
India has been reeling under a devastating wave of coronavirus infections and hospitals across the country are facing an acute shortage of beds, medical oxygen and other supplies due to rising Covid-19 cases.
Crematoriums have been running round-the-clock to burn the bodies piling up while also building extra pyres to accommodate the rising number of dead across the states.
International help pours in
Countries around the world have stepped up efforts to rush in much-needed medical supplies like oxygen concentrators, ventilators and life-saving medicines to India as the second wave of Covid-19 has ravaged essential supplies across many states.
As global help to tackle the crisis gained momentum, the government established a high-level inter-ministerial group to coordinate procedure for immediate disbursal of the medical supplies to the recipient institutions in various parts of the country.
The leading countries announcing assistance to India included France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden.
France has said it is sending to India oxygen generators, liquid oxygen containers, ventilators and other medical supplies by air and sea to support the country by the end of this week.
A group of CEOs of 40 top US companies has formed a global task force to help India in the Covid crisis.