A road near Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is near-empty on May 7.

Ambulance workers seal the coffin of a Covid-19 victim before they are buried on May 8 in a cemetery in the Indian village of Pali near Faridabad. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under increasing pressure to impose a nationwide lockdown as the country grapples with the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.

The deepening crisis is stretching the Indian health system beyond the breaking point. Beds, oxygen and medical staff are in short supply. Some Covid patients die in waiting rooms or outside of overwhelmed clinics before they are even seen by a doctor.

While more than half of India’s states and union territories have made their own shutdowns to deal with the second wave, there is increasing demand for a second national lockdown for India.

Calls for blocking: On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases and the lead coronavirus advisor to the White House, he also believes India should block.

You have to switch off. I believe some of the Indian states have already done this, but you need to break the chain of transmission and one of the ways to do it is to switch off, “Fauci said on ABCs This Week.

In a separate interview with CNN subsidiary CNN News18 on Friday, Fauci added that such a lockdown was necessary to “stay one step ahead of the course of the outbreak”.

Fungal infection: It came after the Government of India reported cases of a fungal infection known as mucormycosis in Covid-19 patients during a news conference on Friday.

The infection generally occurs in people with diabetes or has a weakened immune system and affects “the sinuses or lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air,” according to a CDC information site. ).

“When it coincides with the Covid-19 situation, you need to remember that two more elements come into play,” said Dr. VK Paul, a member of Niti Aayog, a think tank run by the Indian government, on Friday. “One that we use drugs that suppress the immune system – we use a class of drugs that are life-saving, steroids.”

“Also, when a Covid patient is given oxygen, there is a humidifier that has water in it and the tendency to get a fungal infection increases,” he added.

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Fauci joins calls for a nationwide lockdown to contain the Covid crisis in India