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Punjab government notifies guidelines for diagnosis, treatment of black fungus

Sidhu said that the recommendation for constituting "Mucormycosis Audit Committee" in Govt Medical Colleges and Civil Surgeons offices has been passed.

The Punjab government on Tuesday issued guidelines for treatment and diagnosis of mucormycosis (black fungus) in the state.

State health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that black fungus is a serious fungal infection that can severely affect the nose, sinus, eyes, and in some cases the brain of an individual while adding that the government had already declared mucormycosis a notified disease.

On the advice of an expert group, the state government has recommended the diagnosis, treatment, and management of mucormycosis.

Sidhu said that the recommendation for constituting “Mucormycosis Audit Committee” in Govt Medical Colleges and Civil Surgeons offices has been passed. These committees will be responsible for the collection of data of confirmed cases of the disease from govt and private hospitals.

He said that this committee will also register the outcome of each case on the S3 portal. Treatment drugs will be issued to Govt Medical College and CS offices, so the same could be issued to all government and private hospitals. He said that prioritisation of drugs shall be done by the treating institution/ treating doctor as per the clinical condition of the patient.

The health minister further said that if there is no immediate risk to life, a patient suffering from mucormycosis should not be taken for surgery if he/she is Covid positive/hypoxic.

He said that there are no recommendations for treating patients with steroids if there is no sign of hypoxia. An MRI scan should be made optional for hypoxic patients as they cannot be taken for MRI (Cylinders are ferromagnetic).

Sidhu added that the treatment audit committee from treating facilities should include members from departments of medicine, anaesthesia and ENT, as decided by the principal/medical superintendent/management of the concerned treating institution.

Districts should conduct IEC activities for sensitization of the masses that mucormycosis does not spread through human to human, he said.

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