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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

80-year-old ‘slipping away’, granddaughter approaches Delhi HC for black fungus drug

Days after patients were compelled to approach the high court for oxygenated beds due to the shortage in hospitals, those seeking the medicine for black fungus are now knocking the court’s door for its supply.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 25, 2021 9:23:04 pm
Delhi, Covid-19With cases of black fungus rising each day, amphotericin-B is reported to be in short supply across India, including Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra/Representational)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed Delhi’s drug controller to release any unallocated amphotericin-B, prescribed for treatment of black fungus or mucormycosis, without any delay in requisite number to an 80-year-old patient admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. The court also directed the hospital to disclose the number of patients being treated by it and how it is distributing the medicine among patients.

Days after patients were compelled to approach the high court for oxygenated beds due to the shortage in hospitals, those seeking the medicine for black fungus are now knocking the court’s door for its supply. With cases of black fungus rising each day, the drug is reported to be in short supply across India, including Delhi.

Advocate Iqra Khalid on Monday told the court that her grandfather, Laieq Ahmad Siddiqui (80), has been admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital since May 18 but has not received a single vial since May 21. The court was told he also suffers from comorbidities.

“We are in a race against time. There is no clarity as to what is the priority criteria. He is slowly slipping away. We don’t know what to do. We have now reached families who are now reselling as they have lost their relatives and have been procuring these vials at a very very high cost, but for how long? We need 100 vials but all we have been able to procure is 20,” she said.

Khalid Tuesday told the court that they were able to get six vials on Monday because of the intervention of lawyers who appear in the Covid-related cases being heard before the bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi. However, she told the court that the hospital has told them no vials are available with them. “We are pressed against time because tomorrow he is due to go for debridement. If he is not able to receive any vials as of today, he might lose an eye tomorrow,” she told the court, while seeking an urgent intervention.

Following the urgent mentioning by Khalid, a communication was sent to the hospital regarding the case. A counsel later joined the hearing and told the court that they have already distributed the vials allocated to them by the government among patients. The court asked the hospital to consider providing the medicine to Siddiqui in case any of it is available with them.

In a similar case, the family of a patient admitted in Medanta Medicity of Gurgaon has also approached the court for supply of the injection. Considering the condition of the patient, a single bench of the court has entertained the case despite the question of jurisdiction and issued notice in the case to Haryana government.

“It is a matter of public knowledge that the deadly, highly infectious nature of the second wave of Covid-19 and the unpreparedness of the health infrastructure in the city had compelled many desperate citizens of the NCT of Delhi, like the petitioner’s father, to seek admission/ medical attention at hospitals in the neighbouring states,” said Justice Rekha Palli in an order last week.

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