The White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said countries have failed to unite to provide;an adequate global response to prevent the “tragic” coronavirus outbreak from overwhelming India.
In an interview, Dr Fauci averred that the failure of countries to unite highlights global inequality. He also singled out wealthier nations for failing to provide equitable access to healthcare around the world.
“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.
“And that’s something that, unfortunately, has not been accomplished. Often when you have diseases in which there is a limited amount of intervention, be it therapeutic or prevention,;this is something that all the countries that are relatively rich countries or countries that have a higher income;have to pay more attention to.”
India is currently facing a coronavirus “storm” as official figures show the country has recorded;2,172,063 new cases in the past week.
“The United States has really revved up their activity in helping out India. We’re sending oxygen, remdesivir, personal protective equipment, a variety of other medications and;soon we’ll be sending vaccines to help out.
“So, I think that 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.
“Because we’re all in this together. It’s an interconnected world.”
Global health systems need to be upgraded
Dr Fauci also called for global health systems to be upgraded, so that in future, “emerging issues” could be detected earlier.
He added that transparency and communication between countries would also be key in detecting future “issues”.
“You want to have the capability of better surveillance internationally, so that when something comes up and emerges in a given country there’s not a big delay in getting recognition of what’s going on.
“I know in the United States, for example, our local public health system has not been kept up to the level that we would have liked; we are still using fax machines, which is really unacceptable. You have to be prepared to have interconnectivity.”
Dr Fauci also revealed that he believes the world would eventually be able to contain Covid-19 despite situations in countries like India. He, however, warned that for this to happen, countries have to handle the spread of infections better.
“It makes it more difficult when you have the spread of infection in a country that’s not handling it very well.
“If you get infections in a country in which there are a lot of immunosuppressed individuals, including people who are infected with HIV and the virus infects them, they don’t clear it as rapidly as you would hope and that gives the virus a chance to mutate, which leads to the development of additional variants.”