Nagaland black fungus
Representational image Credit: Representational image

Kohima: So far, Nagaland has not reported any case of Mucormycosis, a rare but serious fungal infection detected frequently among COVID-19 patients, COVID-19 spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon informed on Monday.

Commonly known as ‘black fungus’, the disease was made a notifiable disease by the state government on Saturday, making it mandatory for all suspected and confirmed cases to be reported to the district chief medical officers (CMOs) under the Nagaland Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021.

Addressing a press conference at the civil secretariat, Kikon said the state government made it a notifiable disease for prompt reporting and prevention.

“The focus of the state is on its prevention, control of blood sugar in diabetes, judicious use of steroids, and clean water for humidifiers in the oxygen therapy,” Kikon said.

He added that the state government has “communicated” with the ministry of health and family welfare for the procurement of the prescribed drug—Amphotericin-B, despite no cases of black fungus being reported in the state.

On May 22, Amardeep S Bhatia, IAS, principal secretary H&FW, notified black fungus under “The Nagaland Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) regulations 2021” due to the “increasing incidence of Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) amongst immune-compromised patients, especially COVID-19 patients on treatment with steroids”.

The notification had stated that the spread of the disease in the State is also most likely. So, to reduce morbidity and mortality due to Mucormycosis, and on account of its serious nature, the disease was notified under the Epidemic Act for one year.

It directed all the government and private healthcare facilities to report each suspected and confirmed case of Mucormycosis to the respective CMOs daily in the format prescribed by the Principal Director of the health department.
The CMOs will then compile and submit the district report to the Principal Director (H&FW) daily.

All the government and private healthcare facilities have been directed to follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of Mucormycosis, issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the state government from time to time.

In case of deaths due to Mucormycosis, all the government and private healthcare facilities have been directed to submit complete patient records through the respective CMOs to the Principal Director (H&FW) within 24 hours.

It warned individuals and institutions of publishing or circulating rumours or unauthenticated information regarding COVID-19 through any print or electronic media.

Further, it notified that all other provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and its Amendment, 2020 will be applicable in any matters relating to Mucormycosis infection. It added that no suit or legal proceedings will lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith under these regulations.

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