Over 300 Mucormycosis cases in Pune district; drug supply cause for concern: Ajit Pawar

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Pune, May 21 (PTI) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said over 300 cases of Mucormycosis, a fungal infection prevalent among people who have recovered from COVID-19, have been reported in Pune district and the supply of drugs needed for treatment is a cause for concern.

Speaking to reporters after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in Pune, Pawar, who is also the guardian minister of the district said the Centre has been apprised about the matter.

'There are over 300 cases of Mucormycosis or black fungus in Pune, including patients from other districts. However, there is a shortage of the anti-fungal drug Amphotericin B. As each patient requires six injections per day, we need 1,800 vials per day. Unfortunately, the supply isn't in keeping with the demand,' the deputy chief minister said.

The state government had approached pharma companies, but it was in turn informed that the Centre has taken control of the drugs, he alleged.

'During the Prime Minister's interaction with district collectors of the states, the state government sought the drug and also apprised him about the shortage. Hope the situation changes and the drug supply is as per the demand,' Pawar said.

Meanwhile, there has been a drop in the daily tally of COVID-19 cases in the district and the number of patients getting discharged is increasing, he said, adding that the rate of infection in the rural areas is still a cause for concern.

When asked about the supply of vaccines, Pawar said the state government is following up with the Centre for the vaccines.

'The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a global tender. During our consultation with Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, they told us that they will ramp up the production in the near future,' he said.

Speaking about the state's preparedness to tackle the third wave of the pandemic, Pawar said a decision has been taken to increase the production of oxygen by 3,000 metric tonnes in the state and an incentive will be offered to industries to set up oxygen plants in remote areas. PTI SPK ARU ARU

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