NBC Medical Analyst Dr. Vin Gupta said Monday that India is facing an unprecedented disaster as COVID-19 cases surge throughout the country, and that the Indian government will require international support to recover.
“They need hundreds, if not millions, of oxygen canisters to mitigate the immediate loss of life,” Gupta said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
President Joe Biden pledged on April 26 to dispatch help to India, which is facing the most serious coronavirus outbreaks in the world, during a call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The administration is dispatching supplies, including ventilators and oxygen, to help the number two-most populated country on the globe.
India has nearly 20 million coronavirus cases as of Monday, ranking as the country with the second-highest amount of cases after the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country reached a record 23,500 deaths and over 2 million cases from April 25 until May 1, data from Johns Hopkins University said.
“This is an exceptionally dangerous situation. Maybe the most dangerous situation we’ve seen in the last 15 months, certainly of my lifetime, from a health crisis standpoint,” Gupta said. (RELATED: ‘Nothing Short Of An Apocalypse’: Indian Doctor Describes Country’s Virus Case Surge)
Gupta said the country is anticipated to have another 1.2 million virus deaths over “the next three months” and 13,000 deaths possibly over the next month.
“Some estimates say we’re that not measuring — for every recorded death, there’s five unrecorded deaths. You can do the math here. I mean, the numbers are cataclysmic,” Gupta said.
Gupta said India’s vaccine supply won’t last in 2021 and added that the country has approved two vaccines.
“Sputnik’s on the way. They need Johnson & Johnson badly, that’s still one of the approvals process in India,” Gupta said. “We need to lift the patent process so they can hopefully produce more vaccines in country. So that’s gonna be vital.”
Gupta said there are solutions to control the number of virus deaths right away, such as sending “a mobile ICU capability” within the U.S. Air Force. Gupta stressed the necessity for Regeneron and Eli Lilly and Company to weigh donating subcutaneous monoclonals and other experimental therapeutics.
“If we do so, it might set an example for other countries to do similar types of deployments of critical military assets. Obviously, the Modi government has to be willing to accept that,” Gupta said. “I hope they are if they’re watching. They should ask the Biden administration for that tactical resource.”
The administration has pledged to distribute millions of vaccine doses throughout the world. Out of the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine supply which the U.S. is sending worldwide, India anticipates to receive the largest portion, two Indian government sources told Reuters.
“We’re in a once in a century crisis. Other companies are really stepping up as well, but this is the type of outside-the-box thinking that we really need here to mitigate immediate loss of life,” Gupta said.
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