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Medicine shortage to treat Mucormycosis to be resolved soon: Indian Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers

2021 May 21, 10:42, New Delhi

The shortage of medicine "Amphotericin B" used for treating Mucormycosis, or Black Fungus, a disease being diagnosed among diabetic COVID-19 patients in India, will be resolved soon, said a government minister on Thursday.

"Within three days, five more Pharma companies have got new drug approval for producing it (Amphotericin B) in India, in addition to the existing six pharma companies," said Junior Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya.

The disease is dubbed as Black Fungus, as it leaves black lesions, or spots said a doctor.

A large number of Mucormycosis cases have been reported from across the country, even leading to deaths in many cases.

The disease erupts among COVID-19 patients, during the treatment, or as a post-pandemic symptom. It affects the sinus, eyes, and even the brain.

Doctors say anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against the disease.

Earlier in the day, the central government issued a notification directing the state governments to declare Black Fungus an epidemic.

A letter from the federal health ministry asked states to list Black Fungus under the "Epidemic Diseases Act," saying that all government-run and private healthcare facilities must follow the guidelines issued by the federal government and the Indian Council of Medical Research for screening, diagnosis, and management of Mucormycosis.

The notification of the diseases under the epidemic act means all confirmed or suspected cases of Black Fungus have to be reported to the health ministry.

The southwestern state of Maharashtra alone has reported over 1,500 Mucormycosis cases and 90 deaths from the infection.

A leading doctor at Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences was quoted as saying on Wednesday that the number of Black Fungus cases is "increasing rapidly."

Speaking to Xinhua, a doctor at the Saraswathi Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), a known COVID-19 treating center in western Uttar Pradesh adjoining Delhi, said that they detected two cases of Mucormycosis on Tuesday. Both were subsequently referred for further treatment.

"Both males aged over 50 were diabetic. They were admitted with us on May 11 and 12 and were undergoing COVID-19 treatment. After one week of treatment here we found symptoms of Black Fungus. Thereafter, we referred to another hospital as we are catering to COVID-19 treatment only," said SIMS' Medical Superintendent Dr AK Pandey. 


india covid-19 Black Funus Mucormycosis Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Shortage of Medicine Central Government Epidemic Diseases Act Saraswathi Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS)
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