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Maharashtra has over 20 pc of total mucormycosis cases in country: Centre to HC

According to state data, more than 5,000 mucormycosis cases have been reported in Maharashtra till date, of which 412 have succumbed to the disease while 1,024 have recovered.

Maharashtra accounts for over 20 per cent of active mucormycosis cases in the country, according to an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court on Saturday.

In an affidavit filed by Deputy Drugs Controller Rubina Bose of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on behalf of the central government in the High Court on Wednesday, the Union government said there were a total of 19,727 active cases of mucormycosis across the country, 3,931 of them in Maharashtra.

According to state data, more than 5,000 mucormycosis cases have been reported in Maharashtra till date, of which 412 have succumbed to the disease while 1,024 have recovered.

The affidavit stated that mucormycosis is not contagious and cases are likely to decline in proportion to the overall trend of decline in the number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country. “It is not possible to exactly predict the exact number of mucormycosis cases in the coming months,” said the Union government.

As per tentative estimates by the Joint Monitoring Group under the Directorate General of Health Sciences, 20 percent of the total active Covid-19 cases are moderate to severe and may require hospitalisation, and from these 20 per cent cases, 1 in 500 or 1,000 cases may develop mucormycosis.

Due to the surge in cases, the Centre has been assessing the availability of drugs, mainly Liposomal Amphotericin B, which is the primary choice and conventional medicine for treatment of patients, through domestic manufacturers and import.

The Centre told the court that it has been allotting the available quantity of Amphotericin B to states in accordance with the reported caseload and it has allotted 68,360 vials to Maharashtra till May 31 from the total 2,70,060 vials of the drug distributed so far.

The Union government, through the Ministry of External Affairs is taking several steps to augment domestic production and imports. The Health Ministry has asked the MEA to take steps to procure 2,30,000 vials of Liposomal Amphotericin B from Australia, Russia, Germany, Argentina, Belgium and China.

CDSCO has also granted import licences to Ahmedabad-based Zydus Healthcare Ltd and Karnataka-based Stelis Biopharma Pvt Ltd to import Amphotericin B Liposomal injection from Taiwan-based companies.

After an appeal to industries to scale up the production of the drug in the country, the Union government said the production of Amphotericin B Liposomal injection has been increased to 1.4 lakh in May from 62,000 in April, and it is expected to touch 3,57,600 injections in June. The central government has recently issued manufacturing and marketing permission of the drug to Emxure, Gufic, Alembic, Lyka, Natco and Intas Pharma.

Further, state governments have been asked to identify companies that are interested and capable of manufacturing the drug so that production is further increased.

Meanwhile, the Union government has discontinued the central allocation of Remdesivir injection to states in view of availability of sufficient doses. Remdesivir production in the country has been ramped up from 33,000 vials per day to 3,50,000 vials per day, stated the affidavit.

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