Telangana declares black fungus a notified disease

Telangana has already designated the state-run ENT hospital and Gandhi General Hospital in Hyderabad to treat such cases

The Telangana Health Department on Wednesday declared fungal infection Mucormycosis or Black Fungus as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. A notification from the office of the Director of Public Health made it mandatory for all government and private health facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to the Health Department. It also instructed medical superintendents of all government and private hospitals to ensure strict compliance and send a daily report to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.

A day ago, the Health Department revealed that the state has reported about 50 Black Fungus cases in government hospitals and another 30 to 40 in private hospitals. Telangana has already designated the state-run ENT hospital and Gandhi General Hospital in Hyderabad to treat such cases.

The hospitals were also directed to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, and management of Mucormycosis issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and Indian Council of Medical Research.

Black Fungus medicines only after recommendation of committee

Minister KT Rama Rao, who has been fielding emergency requests for medicines, beds, oxygen cylinders, and concentrators, informed that anyone in need of medicines for Black Fungus can send an official email request to the Director of Medical Education and ENT hospital in a certain format.

A system of online allotment of drugs such as Liposomal Amphotericin B, Posaconazole, and Isavuconazole, meant for the treatment of Black Fungus, is put in place and a committee of DME Telangana, Superintendent of ENT hospital and HOD of ENT at Gandhi hospital will scrutinize requests before approving the request and suggesting a stockist from whom the patient’s attendants can procure the medicines. The Telangana Drugs Control Administration(DGA) has instructed drug manufacturers and stockists to not supply vials to hospitals and patients directly without the recommendation of the committee.

No need of local ID for hospitalisation: DPH

In another development, the Director of Public Health issued orders on Wednesday stating that no patient be denied hospital admission even if he/she is unable to produce a valid ID card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located. Further, it added that a hospital need not wait for a COVID positive report from a person for hospitalization and a suspected case shall be admitted to a COVID suspect ward. A few days ago, the department had issued another notification stating that patients who present moderate and severe symptoms should be admitted to hospitals without a COVID test result.

Expert team of Ayurveda doctors to aid fight against Black Fungus

Meanwhile, Dr. Alagu Varshini IAS, the director of Telangana Department of Ayush, told the press on Wednesday that a team of Ayurveda experts is constituted to study the possibility of aiding the public at large to fight against Mucormycosis, through prophylactic care and adjuvant care.

The high risk of black fungus on recovering COVID patients can be mitigated with prophylactic Ayurveda medicines to strengthen their immunity. Select Ayurveda medicines can be added as adjuvant therapy along with conventional antifungals after surgical debridement procedures, she said. The department, after obtaining the necessary permissions, she said, will supply the medicines at Gandhi hospital and ENT hospital under the supervision of the expert teams.

CM KCR meets COVID patients at Gandhi hospital

On Wednesday afternoon, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made a surprise visit to Gandhi hospital and interacted with COVID patients who are undergoing treatment. He assured them of the best treatment at the government hospital. The CM also inspected the oxygen plant. He spoke to senior doctors, contract nurses, and junior doctors, following which he instructed the officials to send proposals to solve the problems faced by the junior doctors and nurses.

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