197 cases of black fungus in Delhi so far: Jain
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Friday stated that 197 cases of black fungus have so far been recorded in Delhi, including some patients coming from outside of Delhi. Only on the advice of the doctor, he appealed, that the patients should take steroids and said that black fungus is happening due to increase in blood sugar levels and decreased immunity by taking steroids.
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Corona patients who have been given steroids during treatment should be vigilant for one week after its closure and do not leave the house, be extra vigilant and minimal social interaction. When blood sugar increases, viruses, fungi and bacteria attack very rapidly. There is a problem of shortage of black fungus medicine in the entire country including Delhi. This drug is under the control of the central government and is giving medicines according to the quota to the State. Jain said that the infection rate in Delhi has come down to 5.5 per cent and 16,712 Covid beds and 1748 ICU beds are vacant in hospitals.
Jain said: “We can see a prominent downward trend in Covid cases. We have dropped down significantly from 28,000 cases to about 3,000, hence, this is a hopeful sign. The positivity rate is now below 5 per cent. However, we cannot afford complacency and must follow Covid-appropriate behaviour by all means.”
Jain highlighted that black fungus or mucormycosis can be treated through the standard protocol only, and not at home. He added: “197 cases have been found up until now in Delhi of black fungus. Black fungus is on an increase because of two reasons, viz: increase in blood sugar level, and the usage of steroids beyond the advice of doctors, thereby leading to a decrease in immunity levels. Firstly, steroids should be taken only at the advice of doctors, it should not be taken otherwise. And, it should not be taken beyond the course recommended by the doctor. This can be detrimental as taking steroids in large amounts will cause your immunity to deteriorate. Black fungus breeds in our environment, mostly in clay, dirt, or rotten things lying around us. A healthy person has very low chances of getting this problem, those who consume steroids without the advice of doctors and beyond what is necessary, are at high risk.
“Their immunity has worsened because of that. Hence, those who have taken steroids, should be vigilant up until 7 days after the course finishes, and people around them must keep distance from them till then. They too, should minimise their social interactions as much as they can. Secondly, controlling and monitoring the blood sugar level is really necessary at this stage. When our body contracts any virus, bacteria, or fungus, it adversely affects our blood sugar level. The necessary medicines should be taken to monitor it. Those who already suffered from diabetes were given injections in hospitals while they were admitted. On being discharged, they rely heavily on steroid pills, which is a huge risk for them.
“Hence, monitoring blood sugar is absolutely imperative, and indiscriminate use of steroids should not be done. The course given by doctors should be sticked to, and without their advice, taking it haphazardly can be very detrimental. One must take good care of themselves when they are on steroids, and should be extra vigilant. Prevention are always better than cure. Precautions should be taken extensively as being successfully treated fir black fungus is difficult.”
At the same time, in relation to the medicine of black fungus, he said the problem of shortage of medicines for black fungus is not only in Delhi but in the whole country. “The Central Government is controlling the medicines of black fungus. They are giving medicines according to state wise quota. They have allocated 2000 medicines for Delhi. The Delhi government will give medicines to hospitals as soon as we get them. We can only give it to hospitals as this cannot be treated at homes.”
On the shortage of medicines, he said: “Our demand is much more than what we are being given by the centre. How can we equally distribute to hospitals when we have received less? Even the HC has stated that there is a shortage for its medicine in India and that the centre should supply the medicines from anywhere they can. The medicines cannot be purchased from medical stores as this cannot be treated at home, you need hospital admission and the supervision of a doctor. The 197 cases include people from Delhi and other states as well. Those being discharged from hospitals are being observed to have contracted black fungus”
Asserting the situation of Covid beds in Delhi so far, Jain said there are nearly 28,500 beds in Delhi as of now, and 16,712 beds are vacant. Approximately 1748 ICU beds are vacant.”
He highlighted upon the shortage of vaccines and stated Covaxin is absolutely over for 18-44 age group, and Covishield is also nearly finished, with which a lot of centres are closing down from today.”1,00,00 vaccines are not enough, that can be inoculated in a single day. Our distribution network is massive and is capable of inoculating up to 3 lakh people in a day in Delhi. The vaccine supply is completely controlled by the centre and we can inoculate only what we are receiving from them.”
Jain stated that even though there were less admissions of children in hospitals in Delhi, the total numbers in this wave increased three times as compared to the previous waves. Hence, we cannot take it lightly and must be prepare ourselves, which the Delhi government is doing on a war footing as of now to curb the effects of third wave especially for children.
Centres to treat black fungus in LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital: Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday convened a high-level meeting to tackle the rising cases of black fungus in Delhi. Important decisions were taken for the prevention and treatment of this disease, such as the Delhi government will open centres for the treatment of black fungus in LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital. It will also ensure adequate management of medicines used in its treatment and take all measures to spread awareness among people about disease prevention measures.
Nodal Minister for COVID management Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary, and health officials were also present in the meeting.
Kejriwal discussed preventive measures with officials, through which the Delhi government can raise awareness. To tackle the rising cases of black fungus, the Delhi government has dedicated three hospitals for its treatment. Dedicated centres for mucormycosis treatment center will be established at LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, with teams of specialised doctors constituted at each centre for efficient functioning. The Delhi government will also prepare a detailed plan and issue special SOPs on how to raise awareness amongst COVID-recovered people for the prevention of the disease.
The Delhi government will also procure medicines for the treatment of the disease from the Central government. Kejriwal said: “Delhi is the capital of the country and so, people from outside also come here for treatment. We should have a sufficient quantity of medicines to cater to everybody who is coming for the treatment of black fungus.”
Kejriwal tweeted: “Convened a meeting with officials and experts on the growing cases of black fungus disease. We also have to stop this disease from growing and those who are getting this disease have to be given better treatment as soon as possible. Some important decisions were taken in the meeting for the prevention and treatment of this disease. 1- Centers for treatment of black fungus in LNJP, GTB and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital 2- Adequate management of medicines used in its treatment 3- Spreading awareness among people about disease prevention measures.”