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Fauci says COVID-19 crisis 'like a war' as India tops 400,000 cases

Fauci says COVID-19 crisis 'like a war' as India tops 400,000 cases
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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden announces 1M have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period | Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins | Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines Average US daily COVID-19 cases below 40K for first time since September Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert, referred to the current fight against surging coronavirus infections as "a war" this week as India reached over 400,000 cases.

In an interview with The Indian Express on Friday, Fauci urged the country to consider ways that the military could step in to battle climbing infection rates and suggested a period of nationwide lockdown.

“No one likes to lock down the country,” he said, before adding that a lockdown “could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.”

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Outbreaks of the virus across the country led to the United States restricting travel from the area on Friday, and several other countries have started to send aid to local Indian hospitals that have become overwhelmed and are running low on oxygen.

"The first thing to do is to first look at what is the immediate thing you can do right now. What is the intermediate thing that you can do in two weeks?" Fauci said in the interview. "For example, vaccinating people right now, which you absolutely must, must do — it’s essential — is not going to alleviate the immediate problem of people needing oxygen, needing hospitalization, needing medical care. That’s not going to fix it now because vaccinating people today, it’s going to be a few weeks before you alleviate the prevention of other people getting sick."

Early on Saturday, India announced that it will open vaccinations to all adults amid its record rise in cases, although the country is still struggling to make the vaccine accessible to citizens nationwide.

The country has already seen over 19.1 million infections.