With the rise in number of mucormycosis or black fungus cases, the Kerala government on Saturday decided to conduct a medical audit for it and also announced that medicines that do not have side effects are recommended to be given to the patients even if they are expensive.

The decision was taken as some states have started notifying black fungus, found in patients recovering from coronavirus, as an epidemic.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “A medical audit will be conducted on black fungus. The availability of medicine will be ensured. Medicines that do not have side effects are recommended to be given to the patients even if they are expensive.”

He further noted that many unscientific and frightening messages related to black fungus are being spread in the state. “There is no basis for such concerns. There is no need for any panic”, he said.

Vijayan said mucormycosis is not a newly found disease in the country and added that since it was being reported in serious diabetic patients infected with COVID-19, a treatment protocol has been determined for such categories of people.

Mucormycosis is a very rare infection which is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immuno-compromised individuals such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.

The doctors in India are documenting an alarming number of cases of mucormycosis among patients with COVID-19 and those who have recently recovered. They believe that mucormycosis may be triggered by the use of steroids.

Earlier in the day, the Centre had stated around 8,848 people across the country contracted black fungus as a post COVID complications. And, it has allocated 23,680 additional vials of Amphotericin-B to various states and union territories for treatment.

The increasing number of deaths is a matter of concern: CM

Kerala on Saturday logged 28,514 new COVID-19 cases and 176 deaths, taking the tally to 22.92 lakh and the toll to 7,170, The single day count of deaths is the highest in the state so far “The increasing number of deaths is a matter of concern. The severity of the disease and deaths are increasing after the second wave of COVID has reached its peak,” he said.

The CM said the second wave has taught the state some new lessons. “While there is a strong possibility of a third wave, the government will immediately initiate strong measures to evaluate these experiences in detail and prepare for a better defence. The stringent vigilance of the people helped us contain the second wave and we should continue it in a similar manner for some more time”, he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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