Ahmedabad, Jun 1 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Central and state governments over a PIL seeking direction that the data on mucormycosis cases and deaths be made public.
The court of Justice Biren Vaishnav issued a notice to the state and Central governments in a PIL seeking transparency in the Gujarat government's reporting of the rising cases of mucormycosis or black fungus.
Based on the information gathered from media reports, families of patients and volunteers, the PIL claimed that the state government had 'miscalculated and underreported the statistics about mucormycosis patients'.
The PIL, filed by Maitree Mazumdar and Khush Vachharajani, stated that the opacity surrounding the situation has led to an acute shortage of Amphotericin B, an injection used to treat the fungal infection.
To make the process more transparent and accountable, the state government should make the information about the cases of mucormycosis free and available, it said.
The plea sought 'a standard procedure for dissemination of information' to ensure that the data regarding the disease remains freely available.
The government should put out in the public domain an urgent count of cases in government and private hospitals, and information about patients who have not been admitted or are being treated at home, it said.
The plea sought a separate mechanism to monitor and make public mucormycosis deaths, and a real-time public dashboard displaying the availability of injections and beds to treat black fungus cases at all nodal hospitals and other treatment facilities.
The Centre's allocation of injections based on the number of mucormycosis cases in Gujarat is much lower and does not even cover the demand of the underreported figures, it said.
The petitioners further said the treatment for the fungal infection is costly and complex, and is not affordable for economically weaker sections (EWS).
Hence, a free treatment plan for EWS patients at private hospitals needs to be rolled out immediately, and the disease should be brought under the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme.
The matter has been kept on June 15, to be heard along with a suo motu and other petitions on COVID-19 pandemic and related issues. PTI KA ARU ARU