Victoria Hospital is one of the two state-run hospitals to treat mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’ infections in Bengaluru.

Vial of Amphotericin B used to treat black fungusRepresentative Image/ Youtube
news Coronavirus Wednesday, June 02, 2021 - 17:21

On Sunday, May 30, ten vials of the drug Liposomal Amphotericin B, used to treat mucormycosis or ‘black fungus’, were reportedly stolen from Bengaluru’s Victoria Hospital. The theft came to light when a doctor was checking the stock of the vaccine. According to a report in The Hindu, Dr Srinivas Ramakrishna V, Resident Medical Officer of the hospital, filed a complaint with the police on May 31.Victoria Hospital is one of the two state-run hospitals that treat mucormycosis in Bengaluru. 

An inspector in the outpost of the hospital said that the theft case is being investigated by the V V Puram station. A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed at the station under, Indian Penal Code Section 381 (theft by an employee at the workplace). The police had issued a notice to all the doctors and staff who were on duty, directing them to appear for interrogation. 

The V V Puram inspector said, “It is suspected that some staff member took the vials and we are interrogating everyone. We have questioned 20 staff members until now and further investigation is underway.”

In his complaint, Dr Ramakrishna mentioned that the anti-fungal medication was stored in a locker of the Master Plan building, The Hindu’s report stated. This stock was purportedly verified by two doctors and the staff. According to another report in a local news publication, the vials are suspected to have been stolen between 7.40-7.45 pm on May 30. 

Before the vials were stolen, the stock was reportedly checked in the presence of an ENT specialist and two other staff members, after which the keys to the locker containing the vials were kept at a nurses’ station nearby. According to other reports, access to the locker was restricted. 

The incident was reported amid a shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B in hospitals across Bengaluru. As of June 1, Karnataka has reported over 1,300 cases of mucormycosis. The fungal infection is a notifiable disease in Karnataka and many other states in India, and is seen predominantly in COVID-19 patients. On May 28, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister had announced that the state has ordered 75,000 vials of the drug from Mumbai-based Bharat Serum Company and Bengaluru-based Mylan Pharmaceutical Company.

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