Hyderabad: Doctors perform a diagnostic nasal endoscopy (DNE) on a patient to detect black fungus, at a hospital in Hyderabad, Thursday, May 20, 2021.
Hyderabad: Doctors perform a diagnostic nasal endoscopy (DNE) on a patient to detect black fungus, at a hospital in Hyderabad, Thursday, May 20, 2021.
(PTI Photo)

Amid a rise in cases of Mucormycosis or black fungus, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has made special arrangements in three government hospitals.

He said, "I want to appeal to all hospitals and doctors to use steroids in controlled amount. Patients need to control their sugar levels. Mixture of steroids and sugar is causing Black fungus. We have made special arrangements in 3 govt hospitals."

Kejriwal urged the Centre to provide a "sufficient number of injections" for the infection which can be seen in patients who have recovered from COVID-19. "We hope Centre will provide us sufficient number of injections (for black fungus). We've made a team of doctors that'll give injections to affected patients as per SOP. Yesterday, they received 84 applications from different hospitals regarding injections," the Delhi CM added.

For the uninitiated, people catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other types of skin trauma.

Centre asks States, UTs to make 'black fungus' notifiable disease under Epidemic Act:

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday in a letter to States and Union Territories has asked to make Mucormycosis or black fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

In the letter, the Ministry stated, "The treatment of this fungal infection requires multidisciplinary approach consisting of Eye Surgeons, ENT specialists, General Surgeon, Neurosurgeon, Dental Maxillofacial surgeon etc. and institution of Amphotericin B as an antifungal medicine. You are requested to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897."

Under this, all government and private health facilities, medical colleges will follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by the union health ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The ministry also asked to make it mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to Health Department through the district level Chief Medical Officer and subsequently to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) surveillance system.

"In recent times a new challenge in the form of a fungal infection namely Mucormycosis has emerged and is reported from many states amongst COVID 19 patients especially those on steroid therapy and deranged sugar control. This fungal infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst COVID 19 patients," the letter also stated.

HC asks Centre to inform on steps taken to import medicine for treating 'black fungus':

The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to inform about steps taken to import medicine used for treating black fungus. The court asked the Central government to file a status on the present production capacity of the medicine, details of producers licensed to produce it, enhanced capacity and by when the increased capacity be able to be manufactured.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said the Centre should right now take steps to get the medicine, Amphotericin B, from wherever it is available in the world.

The court was told that currently Delhi has around 200 cases of Mucormycosis.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)

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