Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda said on Friday that Karnataka has been allocated an additional 9,750 vials of Amphotericin B. The drug is vital for treating black fungus infection, which has emerged as a post-COVID-19 complication among those with high diabetes. "Additional 9,750 vials of Amphotericin-B have been allocated to Karnataka today. Inclusive of today's allocation, a total of 22,460 vials of the drug have been allocated to the State till now," Gowda tweeted.
Acknowledging the receipt of Amphotericin B from the Centre, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told the media in Hubballi that the drug would be dispatched to the districts based on the requirement. The CM was talking to reporters after a meeting with the cabinet and officials. He was reviewing the black fungus situation and directed officials to take needed steps in order to prevent the spread of infection.
Karnataka saw 1,370 cases of fungal infection among whom 51 across the state had succumbed to the infection. Nearly 40-60 vials of Amphotericin B are required through the course of treatment for each patient. With the mounting caseload, Karnataka has been witnessing a shortage of the drug.
Karnataka High Court on June 3 directed the State and Union governments to ensure that there is no shortage in supply of the critical drug after an advocate wrote a letter to Chief Justice highlighting the shortage of the drug in the state. They also asked the government to furnish numbers of the mucormycosis cases in the state.
Mucormycosis or black fungus is being detected in patients who have recovered from coronavirus. Those with diabetes are susceptible to fungal infection. The use of steroids for the treatment of coronavirus infection is making people vulnerable to the infection, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar had earlier said. He had urged doctors and patients to be cautious with using steroids for treatment to avoid black fungus.