Black Fungus cases spiking in Bihar, the state government has not sent supplies of the anti-fungal injection for over 300 patients admitted in different hospitals of Patna for two straight days. With supplies for Saturday also being patchy, the hospitals in the state are running short of Liposomal Amphotericin B injection -- the most effective treatment for Black Fungus or Mucormycosis. The state government has assured that the supply will resume on Tuesday.
Health Minister Mangal Pandey said all the hospitals will be provided the much-needed injections on Tuesday, "the Central Government assured us".
Officials at the state health department said their hands are tied as the Central government is the only procuring agency and they are completely dependent on them.
The last two premier hospitals in Patna, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences or IGIMS, received the medication last on Saturday. But the number of vials was limited -- far below the requirement of the 200-plus patients admitted in the two hospitals.
The Patna AIIMS -- which had operated on more than 60 patients of Black Fungus -- and has 110 patients admitted now, needs at least 700 vials a day.
But with literally no supply of injections, the hospital authorities said it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to continue treatment.
Dr Sanjeev Kumar, the nodal officer of Patna AIIMS, said, "We are operating regularly and not denying any patients proper care. We have put them on Posaconazole tablets, which is a stop gap arrangement. The recovery of patients will be considerably slow".
Bihar's state-run hospital IGIMS received 156 cases of Black Fungus. Of them, 102 patients are still admitted and the hospital's Medical Superintendent Dr Manish Mandal said they need 500 vials a day.
The IGIMS, which conducted 78 surgeries so the Black Fungus patients so far, say they are finding it difficult to manage the situation.
Even with the normal dose of Amphotericin B the effect starts showing only after 72 hours, doctors said.
On Monday, the state government provided them with 1,100 tablets of Posaconazole, which the doctors said is a stop-gap arrangement.
The Black Fungus cases started rising in Bihar on May 15, and the state government confirmed that there have been more than 400 infections. So far, more than 45 people have died of the disease.
Lack of beds and medical supplies sent the two Patna hospitals into a tailspin as they struggle to accommodate the patients.