Tamil Nadu has reported 3,300 black fungus cases and 122 related deaths so far, state minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said on Tuesday and appealed to the people to seek medical advice on time for early treatment. Owing to the increase in the cases across the state, the government has established special wards to treat those infected with black fungus, also known as Mucormycosis, at the government medical college hospitals and district headquarters hospitals.
"About 3,300 persons in Tamil Nadu have been affected due to black fungus and 122 have died due to the fungal infection," he said. The drugs required to treat the patients in private hospitals would be provided directly to them, like in the case of supply of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, he added.
"We have established special wards with a total bed strength of 7,000 including 500 each in Chennai and Madurai.I appeal to the people to seek medical advice in the initial stage and get treated early," Subramanian said.
He was addressing reporters here after attending a slew of programmes including dedicating oxygen concentrators to government hospital and a covid vaccination camp for journalists. The minister further said Tamil Nadu has adequate stock of Amphotericin-B and Posaconazole tablets, the drugs used to treat black fungus infection – a notified fungal disease which is affecting the people across the country.
"Yes, the disease affects the eyes in the initial stages and then the brain leading to deaths," he said when his attention was drawn to the issue of 30 persons losing their vision due to Mucormycosis. About 330 persons have been treated and discharged, so far, he said.
The minister, who is slated to visit New Delhi along with Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan to meet union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on July 9 and seek enhanced vaccine allocation to Tamil Nadu, said he would also raise the issue of expediting the AIIMS project in the state. Tamil Nadu had received 1,57,76,860 doses of covid vaccine so far and of them 1,57,41,118 doses have been used till Monday to inoculate the beneficiaries.
Unlike other states in India which offer incentives to the people to get vaccinated or countries like Pakistan which "threaten sacking people from their jobs," if not inoculated, Tamil Nadu has been carrying out the drive with much ease because of the massive awareness created by the government led by chief minister M K Stalin, Subramanian said. So, people voluntarily attend the vaccination camps to get the covid vaccine, he said and attributed the overwhelming response from citizens as the reason for the vaccine shortage.