Fauci says India needs other countries to 'chip in' to help the country curb COVID-19 spread

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Dr. Anthony Fauci. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Countries like the US must step up and help India deal with its surging COVID-19 cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

  • In India, people are dying at alarming rates and hospitals are running out of oxygen.

  • Fauci said the country should impose a national lockdown and vaccine manufacturers need to think about how to distribute doses to India.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging countries like the United States to step up and help India curb the spread of COVID-19 cases.

The situation is dire in India as the country continues to report large surges in positive cases. Crematoriums across India are overwhelmed with bodies and people are dying as hospitals run out of oxygen.

India reported 401,993 new cases last week, a record high that no other country has breached. On Saturday, the country hit another grim milestone when it reported that more than 4,000 people died from the coronavirus.

Despite the staggering numbers, experts believe the death toll numbers are likely much higher.

Fauci, in a Sunday interview with ABC News' "This Week," said one of the ways to curb the spread is to pressure vaccine manufacturers to distribute doses to India. Vaccine manufacturers have to figure out how to "get literally hundreds of millions of doses" to India," he said.

About two weeks ago, President Joe Biden promised the US would send help to India in the form of "oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics."

While that will be helpful, India will also have to deal with the issue head-on through mass vaccinations and lockdowns, Fauci said.

"The end game of this all," he said, "is going to be to get people vaccinated."

Fauci said mass lockdowns are also a crucial step to slowing the spread of new cases.

"I have advised them in the past that you really need to do that, you've got to shut down," Fauci said. "I believe several of the Indian states have already done that. But you need to break the chain of transmission."

There are lockdowns across several states in India, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not announced a national lockdown.

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"They've got to get their resources, not only from within, but also from without, and that's the reason why other countries need to chip in to be able to get either supplies for the Indians to make their own vaccines or to get vaccines donated," Fauci said.

Vaccine manufacturers could help alleviate the situation by producing and distributing enough vaccines to roll out to the Indian population, he said.

"So there's an immediate problem, which is hospital beds, oxygen, PPE, and other supplies, and then there's the problem looking forward of how you're going to shut this down, how you're going to turn it around, how you're going to break the chain of transmission," Fauci added.

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