New Delhi: A total of 51,775 cases of mucormycosis have been reported till November 29, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.

On the steps taken by the government to tackle such cases, Mandaviya in a written reply to a question said health is a state subject and the Union Ministry of Health has proactively supported states to tackle the challenge posed by cases of mucormycosis during the second surge of COVID-19.

The ministry had asked all states to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease so as to get details of its prevalence in the country.

A unified portal was created by the ministry for states to enter surveillance data of mucormycosis cases. The Ministry of Health has issued national comprehensive guidelines for the management of post-COVID-19 sequelae, including mucormycosis, he said in the written reply.

The clinical management guidelines for COVID-19 cases by the Ministry of Health advocates the rational use of steroids for managing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 under strict medical supervision, the minister said.

Further noting the relationship between the use of steroids and other immune-suppressive drugs, the advisory for rational use of steroids and Tocilizumab in the treatment of COVID-19 patients was issued by the Directorate General of Health Services.

Since early May 2021, the details of production, stock, supplies made and purchase orders were obtained from the manufacturers and their cooperation was sought to overcome the gap between supply and demand, he said.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) have been jointly monitoring the production and availability of critical COVID-19 drugs, including Amphotericin-B injections.

The central government has placed Amphotericin-B under the restricted category for export through a notification on June 1 for ensuring continuous availability of medicines for the treatment of mucormycosis cases domestically.

The central government has undertaken steps to procure Amphotericin-B from various available sources around the globe and made efforts to increase the production of existing manufacturers/importers drugs in the country.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has given permission to 11 new manufacturers of Liposomal Amphotericin-B, Mandaviya informed.

On preventive measures initiated by the government in controlling and treating the increasing number of dengue cases in the country, Mandaviya said during 2021 (as of November 21), a total of 1,64,103 dengue cases were reported as against 2,05,243 cases in 2019.

Through the efforts of the Government of India and states, the case fatality rate (deaths per 100 cases) has been sustained at less than 1 per cent since 2008.

The case fatality rate has remained at an extremely low level of 0.1 per cent since 2019.

Listing the steps taken by the Health Ministry to tackle the rise in dengue cases in the country, Mandaviya said that in 2021, multidisciplinary central teams were deputed to 15 states and union territories — Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir — from August 28 to November 19.

The Government of India has shared with states the national guidelines on dengue case management during the COVID-19 pandemic, developed in consultation with experts.

The Government of India has also taken several measures for the prevention and control of dengue in the country, which include providing technical guidelines for prevention and control, case management and effective community participation to the states for implementation.

Also, 15 advisories were issued from time to time to states and union territories for the prevention and control of dengue in 2021.

Free diagnostic facilities through 713 sentinel surveillance hospitals and 17 apex referral laboratories identified across the country are fully functional and 7.26 lakh IgM tests have been provided by the central government.

The additional fund has been provided to states for procurement of NS1 kits for early diagnosis of dengue, he said.

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