After Telangana, AP sounds alert on black fungus

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  21 May 2021 12:45 PM GMT
After Telangana, AP sounds alert on black fungus

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on 21 May asked officials to prepare protocols for usage of oxygen in the wake of black fungus cases. The direction comes after a steady rise in the number of cases reported in the state.

Mucor is a fungus that is present naturally in the environment, especially in the soil, plants, and contaminated food. It can enter the human body via the nose and mouth through inhalation of its spores that are released into the atmosphere. Under normal circumstances, mucor does not cause human infection because the normal immune system can easily destroy it.

However, when the immune system is compromised for any reason like due to disease or medications, mucor can cause a devastating infection that spreads faster than a forest fire and kills more than half of its victims.

The infection often starts as a small ulcer in the mouth or a stuffy or runny nose. There may also be a mild headache or red eyes. Within a few days the eyelids become puffy and droopy, facial muscles become weak and vision starts reducing. If left untreated, the patient can become drowsy and disoriented, develop brain strokes and even slip into a coma. Death soon follows.

Meanwhile, Jagan instructed officials to provide 30 per cent incentives to hospitals that will set up oxygen generators and asked them said to ensure that oxygen generators are set up in all hospitals within four months. Oxygen generators must be set up in hospitals with more than 50 beds, the CM said, adding that the government will provide 20 per cent incentive to companies that come forward to set up new 100 MT oxygen production plants.

The CM said quality food should be provided in COVID hospitals and priority should be given to sanitation in hospitals. He said stringent action will be taken against hospitals charging more than the fixed prices and also against those who indulge in black marketing of Remedviser injections.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to get scientific evidence for Nellore Ayurvedic medicine and conduct tests along with officials of the concerned departments of the Central government. The officials, meanwhile, informed the Chief Minister that two oxygen trains are supplying oxygen and one more will start in the following week. Four tankers are being airlifted to Bhubaneshwar every day, they said, adding 52.75 metric tonnes of oxygen production is achieved by restoring nine PSA units and work to restore another five PSA units is in progress. They informed the Chief Minister that four new companies are coming forward to setup oxygen production plants.

Hospital beds and vaccine

The officials informed Jagan that there are 45,611 beds in 621 COVID hospitals in the state, of which 38,763 beds are occupied and 28,189 are under the Arogyasri. There are 6,217 ICU beds, 22,756 non-ICU oxygen beds,‌ 16,638 non -ICU non-oxygen beds and 3,407 ventilators in COVID hospitals, the officials said.

The Chief Minister asked officials to arrange ICU beds in government hospitals to treat children. He directed them to complete global tenders for vaccine procurement as soon as possible and added that two doses of vaccine should be given to people above 45 years first and later to people in the age group of 18-45 years.

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