Dr Fauci was speaking at an online symposium organised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which was also attended by several other internationally acclaimed epidemiologists and vaccinologists.
The minister’s remarks come in the backdrop of the Centre banning 59 apps with Chinese links, citing “emergent nature of threats” and saying that they were engaged in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity”, defence, security and public order.
In an email to the companies, the Group Coordinator of Cyber Laws and E-Security Rakesh Maheshwari, warned that if any of the listed applications were still available or operating, it would be an offence under the Information Technology Act and could warrant penal provisions.
In a letter to the states on Monday, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and ICMR's director-general Dr Balram Bhargava suggested that states should help increase testing capacity by adding more labs, enhancing testing facilities of existing labs, and procuring more kits and machines.
In October 2019, WhatsApp sued NSO for developing a software called Pegasus. The software exploited vulnerabilities in the platform to hack into the mobiles of 1,400 human rights activities, journalists, and lawyers — including 121 Indians, according to WhatsApp.
On Wednesday, hackers conducted unprecedented takeovers of some of the platform’s highest-profile accounts, such as US presidential candidate Joe Biden, former US President Barack Obama, and billionaire Elon Musk.
A little over 46,000 F-visas (which include students’ family members) were issued to Indians in 2019, roughly 11% of the total 3.9 lakh such visas issued that year, records of the US State Department show.