Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan (File Photo)
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan (File Photo)

Karnataka govt directs experts to track possible cause of black fungus

ANI | Updated: May 24, 2021 09:02 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 24 (ANI): Amid the surge in black fungus cases in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister and state COVID task force head Dr CN Ashwath Narayan has directed the treatment protocol committee to track whether the rise in the Mucormycosis cases is linked to the use of industrial oxygen and its possible contamination.
The instruction came in a meeting held with the treatment protocol committee on Sunday and accordingly, a team of microbiologists will start to work towards this from Monday.
Noting that the state has recorded about 700 cases of black fungus infections in the last week, he directed experts to find its source.
"The country used to record about 100 cases of black fungus a year earlier but the state has recorded about 700 cases in the last week. This surge has been a cause of anxiety," said the Deputy CM.
He further said that black fungus cases are "not spotted in other COVID hit countries, but they are occurring only in India". So, concern was expressed in the meeting about the need to start tracking the source of the disease.
Dr Sampath Chandra Prasad Rao, skull surgeon, Manipal Hospital (Bengaluru) made the presentation about mucormycosis at the meeting and stated that the probable reasons for the surge in black fungus may be due to ''contamination either due to low-quality cylinders or low-quality piping system at the ICU level in hospitals''.
He also said that it may be caused because of "contamination at the industry level from where the oxygen is being supplied due to low standard sterilization" or any other such reasons.
This may be also due to the usage of ordinary tap water in ventilators, Rao said.
"To meet the rise in demand, industrial oxygen is being procured in large quantity and questions have been emanated, about, whether the oxygen supplied from industries matches with the quality of medical oxygen or not," said Dr Sampath in the meeting.
The Deputy Chief Minister asked the microbiologists to record the clinical history of the patients affected by mucormycosis and to do the data analytics.
Simultaneously, he has also instructed for tracking the source of oxygen supply at the hospital, quality of piping and cylinders and quality of water used for ventilators, and also quality at the source point of supply at the industry and plant level. (ANI)