Delhi records 1,550 Covid cases, 207 deaths; city now faces mucormycosis drug shortage



NEW DELHI: Delhi recorded 1,550 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest single-day tally since March 27, and 207 fatalities on Monday, while the positivity rate stood at 2.52 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.

The infection count was below the 2,000-mark for the second consecutive day and the lowest since March 27 when 1,558 cases were reported.

According to the latest health bulletin, the new fatalities pushed the death toll from COVID-19 here to 23,409.

On Sunday, 1,649 cases and 189 deaths were recorded, while the positivity rate had dipped to 2.42 per cent.

On Wednesday, Delhi had recorded 3,846 cases and 235 deaths, and 3,231 cases and 233 deaths on Thursday, while the tally on Friday was 3,009 with 252 deaths.

On Saturday, it fell further to 2,260 cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said there are around 500 cases of black fungus or mucormycosis in the city and the authorities has been grappling with a shortage of Amphotericin-B injection used in its treatment.

“We have set up dedicated centres for the treatment of black fungus at Lok Nayak Hospital, GTB Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital but we do not have drugs. We did not get the injections on Sunday,” he told reporters.

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Four to five injections per patient per day are used in the treatment of the fungal infection.

There are around 500 cases of black fungus in Delhi at present, he said, adding Delhi has been receiving around 400 to 500 injections per day.

The central government has been distributing the injection among states.

There is a severe shortage of this drug in the market and its production should be ramped up, the chief minister said.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is more common among people whose immunity has lowered due to Covid, diabetes, kidney disease, liver or cardiac disorders, age-related issues, or those on medication for auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

If such patients are administered steroids, their immunity reduces further, allowing the fungus to thrive.

And, steroids should be administered very judiciously after proper clinical examination by a doctor.

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Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had on Saturday cautioned COVID-19 patients against taking steroids without doctor’s advice.

“This is very dangerous. A patient’s immunity becomes zero when he/she takes steroids. Black fungus, which is found in soil or decaying matter inside homes, doesn’t affect healthy people. Chances of infection are more in those with low immunity,” he had said.

It is imperative to control blood sugar levels.

Any virus, fungus or bacteria multiplies rapidly when blood sugar level increases in the body, he had said.

About 15 hospitals in the city are treating patients of mucormycosis.

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