Fighting Mucormycosis: Maharashtra to get 60,000 vials to treat black fungus by June 1

The Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the state would get 60,000 vials of Amphotericin-B, the key drug for the treatment of mucormycosis patients, from June 1 onwards. Tope said the state has floated a global tender for procuring Amphotericin-B vials for the treatment of mucormycosis. "The state would get 60,000 vials of the medicine from June 1 onwards. It will be an additional supply apart from the current allocation of the medicine by the Centre," he added.

As reported by Free Press Journal, mucormycosis has been notified whereby the patients will be registered and treated. There are 2,245 patients of mucormycosis, also known as the black fungus, in Maharashtra.

The minister said there are 2,245 patients of black fungus in the state and out of them, 1,007 are already covered under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY). "The entire cost of the treatment of mucormycosis patients under the MJPJAY will be free of cost, including the cost of the medicine," he noted.

"The state is also trying to cap the cost of treatment of mucormycosis patients who are admitted in private hospitals," he said. Tope said the Maharashtra government has issued a GR (government resolution) regarding such treatment and the finance department has allocated Rs 30 crore for the same.

There have been several cases of mucormycosis, a rare but serious fungal infection, among COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra and some other states. Several states and UTs have declared mucormycosis, also called black fungus, as an epidemic under the Epidemic Diseases Act (1897).

Tope last week had claimed that mucormycosis is a matter of prime concern for the state at present, and the state government needs more supply of the medicine used in its treatment.

The health minister had said that Maharashtra faces a shortage of Amphotericin-B, a key medicine required to treat mucormycosis patients, and the state needs 1.50 lakh to two lakh vials of that medicine, but has received only 16,000 from the Centre.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers on Tuesday informed that it has allocated 19,420 additional vials of Amphotericin-B to various States and Union Territories. Maharashtra will get 4,060 vials.

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