Ahmedabad: Cases of Mucormycosis, a fungal infection, affecting some COVID-19 survivors are on the rise in Gujarat which has left many patients blind, doctors and officials claimed on Saturday.

Mathur Savani, chairman of Surat-based Kiran Super multi-speciality hospital, said mucormycosis was detected in a patient who had recovered from COVID-19 disease around three weeks back.

“This number has gone up to around 50 now while 60 more such patients are awaiting treatment,” Savani told PTI.

The hospital, which is managed by a trust, has been receiving several patients diagnosed with Mucormycosis who are being referred from various areas in Surat and other parts of Gujarat, he said.

“As of now, 50 mucormycosis patients are getting treated at Kiran Hospital and 60 others are awaiting (treatment). They all came to our hospital in the last three weeks. All the patients who are suffering from mucormycosis had recovered from COVID-19 recently,” said Savani.

According to Savani, seven such patients have lost their eyesight so far.

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Meanwhile, considering the growing number of patients with mucormycosis, Surat’s civil hospital has set up a separate facility for their treatment, said in-charge Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Ketan Naik.

He said a separate facility with the dedicated medical staff has been created which will soon start treating patients with mucormycosis.

In Ahmedabad, at least five patients with mucormycosis are being operated upon every day at the civil hospital at Asarva, a senior doctor said.

“In Ahmedabad, we are receiving 5 to 10 such cases at the civil hospital, especially since the second wave of COVID-19 started. These patients are being examined on priority and operated on as early as possible,” said Dr Devang Gupta, ENT doctor at the city civil hospital.

He said various resources, including manpower, equipment and injection required for the treatment of mucormycosis patients, have been provided by the government.

“At least one out of the five such cases is related to eyes. Several of them (patients) are suffering from blindness,” he said.

Niti Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul on Friday said mucormycosis is being found in patients with COVID-19 disease.

“It is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. It, to a large extent, is happening to people who have diabetes. It is very uncommon in those who are not diabetic. There is no big outbreak and we are monitoring it,” he had said.

According to Dr Paul, mucor attacks people with uncontrolled sugar.

He had also said when the same COVID-19 patient is put on oxygen support, which has a humidifier containing water, the chances of him or her getting the fungal infection increase.

As of May 7, Gujarat’s COVID-19 tally stood at 6,58,036 while the overall toll is 8,154. The total count of recoveries stood at 5,03,497.

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