NEW DELHI: As states sent out SOSes to procure crucial antifungal drug amphotericinB in the wake of rising cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, the Centre on Friday assured that over 5 lakh vial of this medicine is going to be available by the end of this Month through ramped up production and imports.
The Centre said it has issued licences to five more companies to manufacture the medicine, considered the first line treatment for mucormycosis, and is in the process of importing 6.8 lakh vials in May and June.
The import is part of all round efforts to ramp up supply and availability of the medicine, said the Union Health Ministry in a statement.
The government said that the production capacity of the companies producing the drug was extremely limited in April but following the support from the Centre, these firms will cumulatively produce 1,63,752 vials of the drug by May-end. The production will be further ramped up to 2,55,114 vials in June, claimed the Centre.
As per unconfirmed reports, nearly 5,000 cases of the disease have been reported in India during the current outbreak while more than 125 people may have succumbed to it.
Doctors said that one patient needs 4-8 vials of the medicine every day for this disease for about 15-30 days during the course of the treatment.
Unexpectedly high demand of amphotericinB over the last few weeks has meant that it is suddenly out of stock in most places, prompting the Union government to engage in its centralised, quota wise distribution.
The Ministry, meanwhile, in a letter to states, asked them to ensure infection prevention and control as well as hygiene and sanitation in hospitals.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in his letter to all states and UTs, asked them to establish or activate the hospital infection control committee with the head of the institution or an administrator as the chairperson.
The letter also said that hospitals should designate an infection prevention and control nodal officer, preferably a microbiologist or senior infection control nurse, and prepare and implement the infection prevention control as per the guidance given in National Guidelines for Infection and Control in Healthcare Facilities.