Cases of fungal infection mucormycosis are rising among COVID-19 patients in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, a senior doctor in the city said on Saturday.
Sixty-seven patients are being treated for the infection in BJ Medical College, and 45 of them are scheduled to undergo surgery, Dr Kalpesh Patel, associate professor in the hospital, told news agency ANI.
“We’re conducting five to seven operations daily,” Dr Patel said.
Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection that is found in immunodeficient patients. Last year also there was an outbreak of this disease in COVID-19 patients who had made full recovery. Dr Manish Munjal, a senior ENT surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told PTI last year it caused the loss of eyesight and removal of jaw bone in many patients in the capital.
Niti Aayog member (Health) VK Paul said on Friday there was “no big outbreak” of mucormycosis in the country and the disease mostly ails patients with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, who have been subjected to immunosuppressive medicines during COVID-19 treatment, or cancer.
“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,” Paul said.
“Mucormycosis attacks people with uncontrolled sugar. Other than that, if the diabetes patient is taking immunosuppressive medicines, steroids, or has cancer, then the impact of mucormycosis is more on that person. If these patients are exposed to wet surfaces, then the chances of getting this disease increases,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday said that Gujarat was “gearing up for the third wave of COVID-19” by putting into place necessary arrangements, including new oxygen plants.
Speaking from Gandhinagar at a ceremony to virtually launch the Atmiya Positive Care-Post Covid Center at Atmiyadham in Vadodara, set up under the patronage of Yogi Divine Society, Rupani stressed on ramping up oxygen production.
He said the number of COVID-19 cases have been “stable” in Gujarat for the past 10 days due to “intensive measures as well as the hard work put in day and night by corona warriors”.
“Gujarat is slowly coming out of the second wave of corona… Yesterday, 15,200 patients recovered and returned home, which is very good news for all of us. In the second wave of the pandemic, the state government has increased the number of beds from 21,000 to one lakh in the last month on a war footing. In the past one and a half months, over 3.04 lakh people were vaccinated…”