Observing that Maharashtra government needed to be “sensitive” about shortage of medicines to treat mucormycosis patients in Marathwada, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state to apprise the Union government about the situation as the region has 669 active cases and witnessed 124 deaths due to the fungal infection so far.
A division bench of Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice Bhalchandra U Debadwar was hearing a suo motu PIL filed on the basis of news reports, seeking that issues pertaining to Covid-19 management, including treatment of mucormycosis patients, be addressed.
Government Pleader D R Kale, representing the state, submitted that Marathwada has reported 1,178 mucormycosis cases. While 669 patients are currently under treatment, 385 have been cured. So far, 124 people have died.
The bench noted that in Marathwada, as against the requirement of 50,178 vials of Amphotericin B – a key drug needed to treat mucormycosis – only received 13,428 vials to treat infected patients. The figure is only 30 per cent of the required quantity.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the Union government, said that between May 11 and May 31, Maharashtra was allocated 68,660 of 2.7 lakh vials of Amphotericin B available with the Centre, as the number of patients in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are relatively higher than others.
“…Maharashtra will have to apprise the Union of India on growing number of mucormycosis patients and especially highlight the fact that in some parts of the state, like in Marathwada, patients are dying due to shortage of Amphotericin B. As patients are being administered inadequate doses, mortality rate is quite high,” the bench said.
It directed the state lawyer to provide details of mucormycosis patients who have recovered and died, along with the number of Amphotericin B vials available with it from June 2 and 9.
The HC will hear the case next on June 10.