COVID-19: HC asks Centre, Kejriwal government to apprise on shortage of medicine to treat black fungus

The high court said the government will have to elaborate what is the bottleneck and how the medicine can suddenly be in short supply when it is locally manufactured.

Published: 19th May 2021 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2021 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi high court, Delhi HC

Delhi High Court (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Centre and Delhi Government to apprise on the issue of shortage of medicine used for treating black fungus, which is primarily affecting people recovering from COVID-19.

The high court said the government will have to elaborate what is the bottleneck and how the medicine can suddenly be in short supply when it is locally manufactured.

"Tomorrow you tell us about your stock, your supply and how you are distributing it and what is the rationale behind it," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said.

The issue of shortage of medicine Amphotericin B, for treating Mucormycosis (black fungus) was raised by advocate Rakesh Malhotra who also referred to a recent order passed by the Delhi government concerning requisitioning of the drug for the ailment.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, said there is a shortage of the medicine and it is worse than the condition of Remdesivir and the State has requisitioned the drug from the Centre.

He said a committee has been formed which meets twice a day but when there is no stock, they can't give buffer stock.

He added that not only Delhi but all other states are facing this shortage and the Centre supplies these medicines to the states by rationing them.

The court asked both the Centre and Delhi government to take instructions on the issue and apprise it on Thursday.

It also asked Malhotra to share the documents with the Centre and Delhi government counsel.

"You will have to elaborate what is the bottleneck. We must address this. How can it be suddenly in short supply when it is locally manufactured. This should not be the case of artificial shortage as it was being manufactured earlier," it said and added, "nobody had anticipated that we will be hit so badly by the second wave".

Mehra clarified that the demand for the medicine has suddenly increased and earlier it was not being prescribed in the numbers that is being prescribed now for last four days and everyone has been caught unaware.

According to the Union Health Ministry, mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by a fungal infection.

People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment.

It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.

The disease is being detected among patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19.

Moreover, anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against this, said the ministry.

When Malhotra claimed that as per his information more than 1000 vials of the medicines are with the Delhi government, Mehra refuted the claim and said everything can't be said at the last moment and he will get back with instructions.

The high court, on its own, has revived a disposed of petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra related to COVID-19 testings and infrastructure, noting that the virus has raised its “ugly head” once again and the pandemic is raging with much greater intensity and "it is evident that the healthcare infrastructure is at the stage of imminent collapse".


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