Centre, states step up efforts to curb black fungus spread; 2.76 lakh fresh coronavirus cases-India News , Technomiz

Centre, states step up efforts to curb black fungus spread; 2.76 lakh fresh coronavirus cases-India News , Technomiz

Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, and Assam governments on Thursday declared it as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897

With cases of mucormycois or ‘black fungus’ reportedly crossing 7,000 across the country, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, and Assam governments on Thursday declared it a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

This, on a day when India reported 2,76,110 new COVID-19 cases.

The move came hours after the Centre, taking stock of the situation across the country, instructed all the states to make the policy change.

On Wednesday, Rajasthan declared the disease as an epidemic.

“All government and private health facilities and medical colleges have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis,” Union Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said in a letter to states.

Mucormycosis begins to manifest as a skin infection in the air pockets located behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones and in between the eyes and teeth. It then spreads to the eyes, lungs and can even spread to the brain. It leads to blackening or discoloration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing of blood.

Delhi, Maharashtra, and Punjab also took steps to regulate the diagnosis and treatment of black fungus cases.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the state government will set up dedicated centres in three hospitals to treat the disease, while Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh instructed health officials to ensure the availability of treatment medicines in rural areas.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope also flagged the situation in Maharashtra after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with district magistrates. Tope said that black fungus, which has claimed 90 lives in the state, is a matter of “prime concern” at present.

He added that the state government needs more supply of the medicine used in its treatment.

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The Delhi High Court asked the Centre to take steps to import Amphotericin-B, the drug used for treating mucormycosis, “from wherever it is available in the world” to bridge its shortage “before we lose more precious lives”.

The Centre said that the shortage of the treatment drug amphotericin B will be “resolved soon”.

The Centre also issued an advisory about the transmission of COVID-19 . The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser said that nasal droplets fall within 2 metres from a COVID-19 infected person and the aerosols can travel in air up to 10 metres, adding that proper ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission.

The advisory noted that well-ventilated spaces play a crucial role in diluting the COVID-19 viral load of infected air and help in decreasing the risk of transmission from one infected person to the other.

Black fungus cases across country

The Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka governments were among those that notified the black fungus disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 on Thursday.

The notification instructs all government and private health facilities to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of black fungus by the union health ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research, statements from the governments said.

Meanwhile, eight people have died of black fungus in Haryana, which has 316 cases of the infection, PTI reported.  Forty-eight fresh cases of black fungus were reported in Haryana on Thursday.

Of the total cases, the maximum 114 were recorded in Gurgaon, followed by 45 in Sirsa, 42 in Faridabad, 31 in Hisar and 20 in Rohtak, they said.

In Telangana, there are 80 cases of black fungus currently, while the disease has claimed 90 lives in Maharashtra so far. Maharashtra has reported 1,500 cases, of which 850 are undergoing treatment, the state government said.

In Tamil Nadu, there are nine cases of the disease. “Currently nine people are being treated for the disease, of which six are old cases and three, new ones. Seven of them are diabetic… all are stable,” health secretary J Radhakrishnan told reporters.

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Additionally, Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar said that no hospital or medical centre having the capacity to provide treatment can deny admission to patients for the black fungus disease.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government said it will declare black fungus an epidemic “if the need arises” and urged hospitals to use steroids in COVID-19 treatment in a controlled manner. “We will declare it (black fungus) an epidemic if needs arise. I also appeal to all hospitals and doctors to use steroids in a controlled manner. Patients should take care of their sugar levels,” the chief minister said.

Tamil Nadu rolls out free vaccine for 18-45 age group

The free of cost COVID-19 inoculation drive in Tamil Nadu for beneficiaries in the 18 to 44 age bracket was inaugurated on Thursday by
Chief Minister MK Stalin.

The vaccination exercise began at the Netaji Apparel Park, which has a 12,000-strong workforce, and all eligibile employees were scheduled to be administered the jabs, an official release said, adding Stalin gave away certificates to beneficiaries.

“People in the 18-plus age range were the backbone of economy and in the first phase of vaccination for this group, Stalin has ordered vaccinating high-risk category people and industrial workers,” the government said.

Modify guidelines to compensate more people: UP govt to state EC on teachers’ deaths due to COVID-19

The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday asked the state Election Commission to modify its guidelines so that more people, including teachers, who died due to COVID-19 during the panchayat poll duty could be given compensation.

The suggestion came amid the demands of compensation raised by teachers’ unions which claimed that 1,621 teachers, educators and other departmental personnel who were on poll duty during the recently concluded panchayat elections in the state had died due to coronavirus .

The unions have demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the deceased and government jobs for the dependents.

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However, state basic education minister Satish Dwivedi on Tuesday had rejected the claim and said that according to the established norms, only three teachers had died during election duty.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a high-level meeting with senior officials, said usually the government acts in cases relating to deaths during elections as per the guidelines of the state Election Commission, but since these guidelines belong to the time when there was no pandemic, there is a need to relook into such cases sympathetically.

COVID-19 caseload details

With 2,76,110 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,57,72,440, while the daily deaths were recorded below 4,000 after four days, taking the toll to 2,87,122, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

A total of 3,874 fatalities due to COVID-19 were registered in a span of 24 hours.

The active cases have further reduced to 31,29,878, comprising 12.14 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 86.74 percent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,23,55,440, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.11 percent, the data stated.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 32,23,56,187 samples have been tested up to 19 May, with 20,55,010 samples being tested on Wednesday.

The 3,874 new fatalities include 594 from Maharashtra, 468 from Karnataka, 365 from Tamil Nadu, 280 from Uttar Pradesh, 235 from Delhi, 208 from Punjab, 193 from Uttarakhand, 157 from West Bengal, 153 from Haryana, 146 from Chhattisgarh, 139 from Rajasthan, 112 from Kerala, 106 from Andhra Pradesh and 104 from Bihar.

A total of 2,87,122 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 84,341 from Maharashtra, 23,306 from Karnataka, 22,346 from Delhi, 18,734 from Tamil Nadu, 18,352 from Uttar Pradesh, 13,733 from West Bengal, 12,525 from Punjab and 12,182 from Chhattisgarh.

With inputs from PTI


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