NHRC asks Health Ministry to act immediately over black fungus deaths

ANI
New Delhi Published: May 20, 2021, 01:49 PM(IST)

Mucormycosis, caused by a mucor mould commonly found in soils and decaying vegetables, infects the sinuses, the brain, and the lungs of immuno-compromised people. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Due to lack of medical care, treatment facilities, guidelines, inaction, and negligence by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and the State Governments, a new disease named Mucormycosis or black fungus has been causing deaths, Tripathy alleged.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to take appropriate action and submit Action Taken Report (ATR) over black fungus deaths and infections in India. 

Also read | What is 'Black Fungus' or 'Mucormycosis'?: Symptoms and treatment

Passing a direction to the Ministry, the NHRC stated the concerned authority shall take appropriate action as deemed fit in the case and the action was taken over the issue shall be informed to the complainant within eight weeks. 

Seeking an urgent intervention of the NHRC, Supreme Court lawyer and social activist, Radhakanta Tripathy, filed a petition stating therein even if more than 3,000 people across India including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Odisha have been suffering from Mucormycosis popularly known as a black fungus.

"Neither the Government of India nor any State Government is serious over the serious issue," Tripathy alleged. 

Due to lack of medical care, treatment facilities, guidelines, inaction, and negligence by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and the State Governments, a new disease named Mucormycosis or black fungus has been causing deaths, Tripathy alleged.

"While COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to plague the battered country`s health infrastructure, the new fear of Mucormycosis or black fungus is causing more worries in Maharashtra where more than 55 deaths have been caused with more than two thousand affected," the Supreme Court lawyer said. Several states including Odisha, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have started reporting deaths and infection, Tripathy stated. 

The plea of Tripathy cited media reports stated over the past few days, Jaipur has seen more than thirty patients with black fungus infection. Many of them have lost their sight, he pointed out. 

Tripathy requested the NHRC to act on an urgent basis directly to the Centre and all the States as the disease relates to COVID-19 infection to formulate policies and issue guidelines as to how to handle the crises and preparedness for the medical facilities and treatment availabilities. 

The NHRC in its order stated "This complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within eight weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform him/her of the action taken in the matter."

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