Updated: May 25, 2021 12:25:34 am
A total of 111 cases of Mucormycosis (black fungus infection) have been reported from various parts of Punjab till Monday, state health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said. Of these, he said, 25 cases were reported in government health facilities, whereas the remaining 86 have been reported from various private hospitals.
The health minister further informed that these cases were mainly being found in patients who have recently recovered from Covid-19 or are immuno-compromised (suffering from HIV or cancer) or in patients who have recovered from Covid with help of steroids/immuno-modulators, or were on oxygen support for a long time or people having uncontrolled diabetes.
Sidhu said that to treat this disease, anti-fungal drugs are required and the supply of these drugs is regulated by the Central government.
There are two major injections available also, which are being provided to the states by the Union Government. No one can procure these medicines from the open market directly as their distribution is under the sole purview of the Government of India.
The health minister informed that an expert group of the state government has finalised the treatment protocols and an expert committee has been formed to advice the treating hospitals/physicians.
The expert committee comprises Dr RPS. Sibia, professor and head of the department of medicine at Government Medical College, Patiala, Dr Sanjeev Bhagat, professor and head of the department of ENT at Government Medical College, Patiala, Dr Avtar Singh Dhanju, associate professor and head of department of medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar, Dr A.K Mandal, director of pulmonology, Sleep and Critical Care Medicineb at Fortis Hospital, SAS Nagar, Manish Munjal, professor and head of department of ENT, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, Dr Mary John, professor and head of the department of medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana and Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover, State Program Officer (IDSP).
Sidhu further said that any treating hospital requiring advice on this disease can approach this committee on e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on mobile no. 8872090028 (Dr. Gagandeep Grover).
Any hospital requiring injection Liposomal Amphotericin-B and injection Amphotericin-B can also approach this committee and injections shall be made available subject to the availability from Government of India since these drugs are regulated.
At present, due to restricted supply, the committee would examine all requests for injections that pour in and ensure that the basic requisite quantity of medicine is provided to hospitals, which require these injections on priority for treating the patients admitted with them.
He said that all patients of this disease will have to be notified by the treating institution/physician as the disease is now a notified disease in Punjab.
Sidhu further stated that symptoms of Mucormycosis (black fungus) can include facial pain or swelling, stuffy nose or brown nasal discharge, toothache, loose teeth, redness, pain or swelling of the eye, fever, shortness of breath, headache, altered sensorium, double or blurred vision.
If anyone has any such symptoms, he/she should report to the nearest health facility at the earliest, he added.
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