Mucormycosis, a fungal infection which has claimed at least 25 lives in Jharkhand, is likely to get notified as an epidemic by the state cabinet which is scheduled to meet on Friday, health officials said on Wednesday.
Chief minister Hemant Soren took to microblogging website Twitter on Tuesday to share that his government has started working on the process of notifying mucormycosis or black fungus as an epidemic.
“The process of notifying mucormycosis as an epidemic has certainly been expedited after the CM’s directive. Usually, such decisions are made by the Cabinet, so we are expecting the notification to be out after the next cabinet meeting,” said Dr Siddharth Tripathi, the nodal officer for health department Information, education and communication (IEC) wing.
As per latest data with the health department, as many as 79 confirmed cases and 52 suspected cases of mucormycosis have been reported in Jharkhand so far. Of the 79 patients, 25 have died and 37 have recovered, indicating that the fatality rate among patients was quite high in the state.
On May 20, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare directed all states and Union territories in India to declare mucormycosis an epidemic, stating that the infection is leading to mortalities and morbidities amongst Covid patients.
Several states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have already notified black fungus as an epidemic. New Delhi also notified mucormycosis as an epidemic on May 27.
In May, the Jharkhand government asked the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) to maintain records related to the lethal fungal infection. The civil surgeons of all the districts were asked to report fresh confirmed and suspected cases of mucormycosis to the IDSP every day.
Mucormycosis is a rare infection caused by exposure to mucor mould found in soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables. cormycosis patients.
Several thousand cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis were reported in India in the past one month and doctors claimed that use of high dosage steroids for treatment of severely-ill Covid patients was one of the reasons for the spike. In Jharkhand, all the 79 mucormycosis patients found so far were Covid survivors, officials said.