May 20, 2021 12:30:40 am
With the cases of Mucormycosis — commonly known as the black fungus — on the rise among both active and recovered Covid patients, the Punjab government Wednesday declared it a notified disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act. This makes it mandatory for all government and private healthcare facilities across the state to report every suspected/confirmed case of the disease. Both neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan too have declared black fungus a notified disease.
As per the notification issued by Punjab government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare, “….the state of Punjab is threatened with the outbreaks of dangerous epidemic disease namely Mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients being treated with steroids and that ordinary provisions of law for the time being in force are insufficient for the purpose. Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 2, 3 & 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897…The Governor of Punjab is pleased to make the regulation namely ‘The Punjab Epidemic Diseases Mucormycosis among Covid-19 Patients Regulations, 2021..”
Punjab government said that the new regulations shall remain valid for one year.
The notification further states all the healthcare facilities in state of Punjab (government/private) will follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of Mucormycosis issued by Government of India and Department of Health, government of Punjab.
“All healthcare facilities (government & private) will report each and every suspected and confirmed case of Mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab through the Civil Surgeon of respective districts,” reads the notification.
No person or institution or organisation will use any print or media in any form for spreading any information regarding management of Mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients without permission of Health Department. It adds that spreading of any rumour or unscientific information regarding this disease will be a punishable offence under the notification, it says.
Further, civil surgeons of districts have been ordered to compile daily data of the cases being reported from government and private healthcare facilities both and each district also has to appoint a nodal officer for the same.
Any person/institution disobeying the regulation or orders made under it shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under the Section 188 of IPC, says the notification.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Hussan Lal, principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, said: “Liposomal Amphotericin-B is the main drug required for treatment of this disease but currently its availability is low. The availability of this drug may ease in next two weeks. We have procured some 200 vials of this injection but we need more in coming days. We have written to Government of India for the same.”
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