Black Fungus Update; Punjab CM asks state’s Health Dept. to ensure medicine availability in all govt. hospitals & rural PHCs

Chandigarh: A day after Punjab government notified Mucor Mycosis (Black Fungus) as a disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the Health Department to ensure that the necessary medicines for treating the same are made available to all the government hospitals, including in the rural areas.

He also asked the Department to depute doctors at the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the villages to ensure early detection and treatment of the Black Fungus, which has been reported from many states, in the rural areas.

Stressing that early detection of the disease could prevent it from being fatal, the Chief Minister asked the Covid Expert team headed by Dr KK Talwar to ensure that doctors in the L3 facilities of all government hospitals are directed on proper treatment of Covid patients to check irrational use of steroids, which had been identified as the main cause of this disease, especially among diabetic patients.

Excessive use of steroids in Covid treatment was causing problems, Dr Talwar told the Covid review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister. He said the doctors were being guided to use substitutes and the Expert Group was trying to finalise a line of treatment with substitutes and alternates.

The Chief Minister also asked Dr. Talwar and his team to analyse why patients were returning to hospitals even after recovering from Covid.

Notably, in the first phase, the state did not report any cases of black fungus, even though incidence of the same was reported from several other states. The Chief Minister, however, made it clear that this should not be taken as a precedence and the situation could change any moment, which necessitated strict preventive measures. He said this was the reason his government had yesterday itself notified the disease under the Epidemic Act, even though no such guidelines had been issued then by the Centre.

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