From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, May 17: Deputy chief minister and head of state’s Covid Task Force Dr C N Ashwath Narayan called on ‘Global Innovation Alliance Partner Countries’ to partner with the state in exploring possibilities of procurement of drugs, specifically like Amphotericin B that is critical for treating Black Fungus infection, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar announced the constitution of an experts panel to find out the exact cause of the black fungus disease.
Presiding over a virtual interaction convened by the Department of IT/BT and S&T on Covid-19 with Global Innovation Alliance Partner countries on Monday, Dr Narayan said the need of the hour was to explore possibilities of collaboration in the procurement of drugs that are needed for critical treatments.
He explained Karnataka’s efforts to improve the healthcare system in a massive way and to set up needed infrastructure and sought the global countries to partner in new technologies like Nanomedicine, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D Printing, Cloud Computing to establish a better health monitoring system.
Meanwhile, Dr Sudhakar, while speaking to the media at Bowring Hospital after a meeting with experts and officials regarding Black Fungus, said Mucormycosis is now a noticed disease and hospitals should report it to the government and it was illegal to hide it.
"Black fungus is a post-Covid complication and those who have uncontrolled diabetes and use a high dosage of steroids are vulnerable to this disease. Those who undergo organ transplantation or with immune-compromised conditions like HIV are also likely to contract this. Such category of people should be more cautious,’’ the minister explained.
Dr Sudhakar said the fungus enters through a nasal cavity in persons with low immunity. Then it will attack eyesight. One should get treatment immediately after it enters the nose. It is learnt that the water used in humidifiers in hospitals is causing the complication.
Multi-Speciality hospitals in districts
The deputy chief minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said the state government wants to create sophisticated, multi-speciality hospital in all districts.
"Even the remotest area of the state should have ICUs and other necessary healthcare services to offer. This is not possible without active global collaboration and partnership, he said pointing out that imposing lockdowns and simultaneously balancing the health, social and economic concerns was a huge challenge’’ he said stressing the need for cross-country learning to manage the tough situation.
During the interaction representatives of various countries shared their experiences of COVID management in their countries and also informed how they would like to partner with Karnataka besides giving contributions and aids to India, which are being done at present.
Sarah Kirlew of Australia said her country has been providing medical supplies through MEA in Delhi and is keen on working for medical and innovation with Karnataka.
Jeremy of UK said the collaboration of Oxford Astra and Serum Institute was a successful UK-Indo collaboration to be mentioned. The UK had supported India by providing oxygen concentrators and oxygen generation units.
Nicole Gerard of Canada said his country had helped by sending Remdesivir medicines to India and by lending 500 ventilators to Karnataka.
Jette Bjerrum of Denmark promised 10 million Danish Krone grant to set up mobile hospitals and collaborate with Red Cross Europe to provide ventilators.
Achim Burkhart of Germany offered to partner with Rotary Club (Karnataka) to put up beds and other facilities apart from setting up an oxygen plant in Bengaluru, for which the work is in progress.
Jonathan Zad from Israel said 3 oxygen generation plants being set up in India, of which one has been already operating in Kolar and the other would come up soon in North Karnataka. He further said Reliance and an Israeli company are partnering in the RAT test enabling them to provide the results sooner.
Akiko Sugita from Japan has provided to grant of up to USD 50 million to India and 800 ventilators and cylinders. Request for lifting the suspension of production manufacturing industries has been made and many Japanese companies are hoping to resume operations soon.
Young Seup Kwon (South Korea), Sebastien Hug (Switzerland), GertHeijkoop (Netherlands) and Judith Ravin (US) listed out the help their countries have been proving and expressed their keenness to partner with Karnataka.
Amphotericin injection for Black Fungus
Speaking at the Bowring Hospital, Dr Sudhakar explained that Amphotericin injection is being given for the treatment of Black Fungus disease. A single patient needs 40-60 vials of this medicine. The Centre has approved 1,050 vials out of which 450 vials have been supplied to our state.
"We have placed an order for 20,000 vials. As many 97 people have been reported with this infection so far and they are being treated at Bowring hospital on an experimental basis,’’ he said adding Black fungus treatment will soon be started at Mysuru Medical college, Shivamogga Medical college, JIMS, KIMS, Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru and KMC Hospital in Udupi.
This will facilitate the people of the respective districts to get the treatment at their own districts, he said explaining steroids should not be administered without prescription of doctors. The Government is not providing steroids to those in home isolation.
The state government is having information on persons infected with Black fungus at Private and government hospitals. Treatment will be provided to them accordingly and both Covid and Black fungus patients are treated free of cost, Dr Sudhakar added.