The Delhi High Court, on Monday, 24 May, noted that the disparity between the demand and supply of Amphotericin B, the drug used for treating black fungus infection, is "too wide to bridge" and called for drastic measures to be taken.
This observation comes in the wake of the increasing incidence of mucormycosis or black fungal infection in recently recovered COVID-19 patients in the country.
According to a PTI report, a Bench, comprising of Justices Jasmeet Singh and Vipin Sanghi, deliberated on the matter of the corollary problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for six hours. The Bench observed that the lag between the demand and supply of the black fungus drug was more than one-third and suggested that the supply needs to be stepped up dramatically.
The Delhi High Court, on Wednesday, had similarly questioned the Centre on the issue of the shortfall of the drug and had demanded that the medicine be obtained from "wherever in the world," urging the government to take rapid action.
The Bench had been informed about the fast rising cases of mucormycosis in the national capital by the legal counsel of the Delhi government. While around 200 cases of mucormycosis were reported on 21 May in the city, the number had increased to 475 on Monday.
The Centre has apprised the court about the expected supply of the medicine in May and June, and the measures planned to ensure the boosting of its production along with the speedy delivery of its import.
The Centre was asked to submit a further status report on the subject by the Bench. The next hearing for the matter is scheduled for 27 May.
The Union Health Ministry, Thursday, on 20 May, urged the states to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.
(With inputs from PTI)