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Sonia Gandhi asks PM Modi to take ‘immediate action’ on rise in black fungus cases

Sonia Gandhi requested the Centre to be ready with an adequate production and assured supply of essential medicines to treat black fungus, as well as provide cost free patient care for those requiring treatment.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2021 7:36:44 pm
coronavirus india, coronavirus india updates, covid 19, sonia gandhi coronavirus, sunday janata curfew, congress president sonia gandhiPrime Minister Narendra Modi with Sonia Gandhi in 2016 (Express Archives/Prem Nath Pandey)

As cases of Mucormycosis or “black fungus” rise across the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate action on the supply of Liposomal Amphotericin-B, an essential drug to treat the fungal infection being detected in Covid-19 patients.

“I understand that Liposomal Amphotericin-B is absolutely essential for treatment of mucormycosis. However, there are reports of its acute scarcity in the market. I would request you to kindly take immediate action in this matter,” Gandhi wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister.

She also requested the Centre to be ready with an adequate production and assured supply of essential medicines to treat the disease, as well as provide cost free patient care for those requiring treatment.

The letter comes as states across India are reporting a shortage of the antifungal drug with hospitals in Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat among others expressing the urgent need for supplies to treat the growing number of patients needing it.

On Thursday, the Union Health Ministry declared black fungus a notifiable disease, making it mandatory for states to report both suspected and confirmed cases to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).

Mucormycosis is a rare but fatal fungal infection, in which sinuses or lungs are affected after fungal spores in the air are inhaled. The incidence of this infection has traditionally been low — it was reported mainly in patients with uncontrolled diabetes. However, many hospitals in the countries are now reporting a significant increase in cases of ‘Covid-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM)’.

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