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Rajasthan struggles as mucormycosis cases surge

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Even as cases of mucormycosis are on the rise with reports suggesting over 750 cases of the rare fungal infection, the Rajasthan government claims only 100 reported cases of mucormycosis, also known as ‘black fungus’.

Health minister Dr Raghu Sharma citing government records said there are only 100 patients. The state government has floated global tenders to procure 2,500 vials of the drug used in treating black fungus.

Sharma said the state government as a contingency plan is trying to procure 2,500 vials after it received only 700 injections from the Union government against a demand of 50,000 injections. There is an acute scarcity of Liposomal Amphotericin 50 mg injections and Posaconazole, these are life-saving injections for black fungus-infected patients.

The health minister said that the state government is preparing itself to combat the black fungus and the state government is holding talks with eight major firms manufacturing the injections needed for black fungus. The injections are being sold in the black market in Jaipur and the state government has asked all the medicine suppliers to deposit the medicines with the state government.

Mucormycosis cases in Jaipur

The highest number of mucormycosis cases has been reported from Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital where 25 patients are being treated in a specially created ward. These patients are from Jaipur and other places including from Uttar Pradesh.

What doctors say

Dr. Mohnish Grover, a professor of ENT in Sawai Man Singh Medical College, said black fungus has spread not only in Rajasthan, but also in Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The state has been asked to follow the guidelines for treatment issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Dr. Satish Jain, an ENT surgeon, said mucormycosis can be cured only if it is reported at an early state and delay would only lead to grave consequences.

According to treating doctors of the SMS Medical College and Hospital, the medicines for mucormycosis are administered depending upon the patient’s weight. A patient weighing 70 kg would require 300 mg of the jab which means he will have to get six injections a day. Thus, heavy doses of injections are required for treating patients.

 

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