Amidst “heavy criticism” by a section of media, renowned cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty said the Indian government has done a phenomenal job to get oxygen to the hospitals even as the country is fighting the Covid pandemic.
“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,” Dr Shetty told Moneycontrol’s IT & Startup Editor Chandra R Srikanth.
Of course, a lot of people have suffered, but if the whole country is falling sick, there is no healthcare infrastructure in the world, he emphasised.
He said even the US government cannot manage the astronomical number of Covid patients India has.
“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,” he said.
Dr Shetty suggested that India should quickly purchase 300-million vaccine doses in bulk and vaccinate people. “The vaccine is the cheapest solution we have against COVID, we have to use it,” he said.
He also said bulk purchases of vaccines will fetch best prices and stressed on advance payments to the companies to get their commitment. “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 Shetty said.
He also suggested welcoming vaccine manufacturers in India, with a rider that they would deliver the vaccines in the next three months, which will give 200 to 600 million vaccine doses.
Dr Shetty mooted the idea of roping in private hospitals and vaccinating parents of young children.