With over 2,200 cases in the last week, Gujarat has emerged as the hotspot for Mucormycosis or Black Fungus which generally affects COVID-19 patients who are prescribed steroids or those who have uncontrolled diabetes.
The Gujarat government after witnessing a significant number of deaths attributed to Mucormycosis or fungal infection has declared it as an epidemic under the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1857, in view of its high fatality rate.
Alleging the state of concealing the actual numbers of those who are affected by the fungal infection, a PIL was filed before the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court seeking a status report on the steadily increasing incidences of Mucormycosis in the state.
The petitioners in the PIL contended that there is acute shortage of Amphotericin-B, which is the only drug for the treatment of the fungal infection, due to mismanagement in administering to the needy.
Concerned over the increasing deaths caused by the infection and cost of the treatment, petitioners in the plea advised the state to provide treatment under the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY scheme for patients belonging to EWS. And also a number of suggestions for proper management and effective control of the disease were given by the petitioners in the PIL.
Further, the petitioners argued that the state being a ‘welfare state’ is bound to provide safety to its citizens, particularly, in light of the Directive Principles of the State Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Considering the plea, Hon’ble Bench headed by Justice Biren Vaishnav has issued notice to the state government to submit the status report on the issue by June 15,2021.