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Friday, June 25, 2021

HC to Maharashtra govt: Ensure supply of drugs for fungal diseases

It also asked the state to take measures to contain the “third wave” of the pandemic, which is projected to affect children.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
June 3, 2021 1:51:24 am
“If we have to vaccinate (those between) 12-18 years ... we must have a strategy for at least 80 per cent of them. So, this (quantity by Pfizer) will not suffice,” the official said.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state government and civic authorities to ensure sufficient supply of drugs to treat fungal diseases, including mucormycosis and aspergillosis, which are largely being found in Covid-19 patients.

It also asked the state to take measures to contain the “third wave” of the pandemic, which is projected to affect children.

The court further asked the municipal corporations near Mumbai to “immediately follow” the Covid-19 management model adopted by BMC to ensure sufficient supply of essentials.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a clutch of PILs alleging improper Covid-19 management in Maharashtra.

On being told about the increase in Covid-19 cases in areas near Mumbai and lack of facilities, the HC said, “Mumbai model would be more relevant for corporations in immediate proximity, such as Ulhasnagar, Thane and Navi Mumbai, among others. It should be immediately followed in all these corporations…”

“If it was done before, the situation would have been much better but better late than never,” it added.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the state, said that BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had on May 31 held a conference with the civic chiefs of nearby corporations to discuss the “Mumbai model”. The state is awaiting to hear from the commissioners on what steps they have taken following the meeting, he added.

The petitioners said that there was a scarcity of drugs pertaining to fungal infections such as mucormycosis and aspergillosis. To this, Kumbhakoni said that manufacturing of Amphotericin B drug to treat mucormycosis has been started at Haffkine institute in Mumbai and that it takes 20 days to produce the drug.

Black fungus was already prevalent and number of cases have triggered due to Covid-19. But what is the position in countries that were affected way worse than us. What do the studies say?” the bench asked.

Kumbhakoni replied, “It appears indiscriminate use of steroids had not happened there (in other countries). Here, even local physicians are administering steroids and that is aggravating the problem.”

The HC noted that while there has been “significant improvements” in the supply of liquid medical oxygen and remdesivir, the focus should be shifted to newer diseases like mucormycosis and aspergillosis.

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