The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 19 May, asked the Centre to take measures to address the shortfall in the medicines, like Amphotericin B, used for treating black fungus, which is affecting COVID-19 recovered people.
A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said: "You have to get the medicine from wherever in the world. You have to take steps right now."
The High Court also asked the Centre to apprise it on the steps taken to get the medicine for the treatment of mucormycosis (black fungus) which has been on the rise in the national capital and in other states as well.
"Wherever it is available in the world get it," it emphasised.
The Centre's counsel assured the court that steps have been taken to import the medicine and added that the production capacity of some of manufacturers of the medicine has been doubled, but the Bench noted the domestic production of the medicine is far less than what is required in India.
The Bench emphasised that time and human lives are of great importance, and if there is shortfall in the supply of the drug required for the treatment, then it would not serve the purpose. The Bench told the Centre that it should import to fill the gap in the shortfall and increase the production before more people suffer from the disease.
It asked the Centre to submit a status on present production capacity of the medicine, details of licensed producers, as well as when the production capacity will be increased.
Citing the shortfall in the supply of medicine, the court said: "We are afraid that mere doubling of production will not suffice." After it was informed on the number cases of black fungus in Delhi, the court asked the Centre to file a report detailing on the present case load and expected load in two weeks.
The court's observation came on the issue of black fungus raised by advocate Rakesh Malhotra, who pointed out at the shortage of medicine and rising cases in the city.
The central government informed the court that there are 200 black fungus cases in Delhi, and case load is 3 percent of the entire nation. Against the backdrop of shortage of medicine, counsel added that available medicine is being allocated to the states as per their caseloads.
For Delhi, the counsel said 3,150 vials have been allocated so far.
As the court again asked how would Centre increase the production of the medicine, counsel replied five companies are manufacturing the drug in the country, and they have been asked to increase their capacity.
The Delhi government counsel, however, submitted the medicine is in shortage, and there is a huge demand as the number of cases are rising, adding that 15,000 vials of 50 mg is the projected weekly demand of Delhi as on 18 May.
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