Bhubaneswar: A steady rise in the infection cases of Black Fungus also known as Mucormycosis has evolved as a major headache for the State government at a time when the daily spike in the Covid cases is still above 8 thousand. The situation is even more alarming due to the absence of sufficient stock of the most important treatment against the disease, i.e. the administration of liposomal Amphotericin-B injection.
As per the data available with Odisha government, so far a total of 41 cases of black fungus have been detected in the State. The fatal disease has claimed the lives of four people while only a solitary case of recovery has been reported from the State.
A patient needs 50 mg of Amphotericin-B/vial with a total administration of about 210 vials over a period of six to eight weeks. As per sources, Odisha has a stock of only 128 vials of the life-saving injection at present. In order to deal with the acute shortage of the injection, the Odisha government has placed an order for 5000 Amphotericin-B vials from the Centre.
Meanwhile, to avoid shortage crisis of anti-fungal injection doses, the Centre has ordered a ban on the export of Amphotericin-B with immediate effect and also raised the cap on its import.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while reviewing the Covid situation in the State on Tuesday directed the officials to identify and treat Covid induced black fungus and general black fungus patients in separate wards.
A directive for the facilitation of separate wards for Covid and non-Covid patients is underway for all district headquarters hospitals. On the other hand, even as the daily cases of Corona have dipped a little, there has been a concerning rise in the number of fatalities due to viral disease.
In the last 24 hours, the State has witnessed 40 cases of Covid deaths, the highest-ever in Odisha in a single day. Statistics show that the death toll curve has continued to remain above 30 since May 24.
In the second wave of Covid, the State has reported a total of 112 deaths in April, 711 fatalities in May, and 77 alone in just two days in June 2021. The government has however clarified that despite the terrifying figures, the death rate in the State is less than the country's average. The rise in the death toll is due to a high number of critical patients during the peaking period of infection in May.
Apart from the districts of Dhenkanal, Khordha, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, and Mayurbhanj, Covid infections have posted a downward trend. In order to deal with the situation, the State government has asked the authorities of the concerned districts to take special action. The government hopes that the extension of the lockdown till June 17 will help reduce the rate of infection to a considerable extent.