Amidst the second wave of Coronavirus outbreak in the country, renowned cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty has extended his support to the efforts of the Indian government in fighting the pandemic. He made the comments during an exclusive interview with Money Control.
At about 11 minutes into the interview, Dr Shetty emphasised, “I know a lot of people are criticising the government, but I can tell you, the number of COVID patients we have, even if we present this to the US government, there is no way they can manage it … forget any other country. These are astronomical numbers that no country in the world has the infrastructure to manage.”
“In terms of oxygen, I can tell you – I have gone through the details. Our government has done a phenomenal job. They have moved Heaven and Earth to get the oxygen to the hospitals. Of course, a lot of people have suffered. But, if the whole country is falling sick, there is no healthcare infrastructure in the world ”
Dr Devi Shetty shares 3 steps to accelerate the Coronavirus vaccination drive
During the interview, the cardiac surgeon highlighted how India could accelerate the vaccination drive in the country. He suggested that India should quickly purchase 300-million vaccine doses in bulk and vaccinate people.
He said, “If we go to companies and say we want to buy 300-400 million doses, this is the money take it, they will give it to you, and these are vaccines that don’t need a trial, they have been used on millions of people…One day of lockdown, how much is it going to cost us? The vaccine is the cheapest solution we have against COVID, we have to use it.”
He had suggested that vaccines must be purchased in bulk to have the negotiation leverage. “Bulk order will give you huge leverage to negotiate the best price and unless these companies get money in advance they won’t commit. We need at least five different vaccine manufacturers to come forward and say that you give me the money, we will deliver at this time,” Dr Devi Shetty opined.
The cardiac surgeon added that the government must allow foreign vaccine manufacturers to come and make in India, under the conditions that the vaccines will be delivered to India in next 3 months. He said that doing so will give us 200 million vaccine doses, if not 600 million. Dr Devi Shetty suugested the idea of roping in private hospitals and vaccinating parents of young children.
“If I am given few million vaccines and told to vaccinate, I can do it for 26,000 people on one campus in 24 hours. I can manage double … I can even vaccinate at 2 am at night. If people are desperate enough to want vaccines, we will have a 24-hour shift. This is a war-like situation that needs a different game plan,” the cardiac surgeon concluded. As of May 14, about 17.92 crore vaccine doses have been administered against the Coronavirus.