Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday declared post-Covid complication mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, a notifiable disease in the city under the Epidemic Act, 1897, PTI reported. The decision came on a day when Delhi reported 153 new cases of the fungal infection taking the city’s tally to 773.
Under provisions of the Epidemic Act, medical facilities will now have to report all suspected and confirmed cases of black fungus to Delhi’s health department. All government and private health facilities will now follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of mucormycosis issued by the ministry and the Indian Council for Medical Research.
The Delhi Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021, which will be valid for a year, the notification issued by the lieutenant governor’s office stated. The Centre had last week asked all states and Union Territories to declare mucormycosis a notifiable disease.
“Black fungus” disease is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. The symptoms of the infection include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion, and partial loss of vision, among others. It mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness and most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, according to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the city had 620 cases of the infection and was facing a shortage of injections of the Amphotericin-B, the drug used to treat the disease. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Delhi High Court ordered that customs departments should clear the import of Amphotericin-B by accepting a bond from the importer without actual payment of import duty, till the Centre makes a final decision on a waiver.