Bathinda sees four black fungus deaths in 3 days

Seven others infected, total cases climb to 45

Bathinda sees four black fungus deaths in 3 days

A Covid patient under treatment at a hospital in Jalandhar. file photo

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 29

Seven fresh cases and four deaths due to black fungus in the past three days in the district have set the alarm ringing for the authorities.

As per official figures, 45 cases of the Covid-triggered infection have been reported in the district so far of which 25 are from Bathinda, while the rest are from outside the district.

Though the Civil Hospital is not equipped to treat the disease, the local unit of AIIMS has started the treatment after constituting a task force.

Bathinda AIIMS Director Dr DK Singh said: “We have started treating black fungus. Injections to treat the infection are being supplied by the central government and now the state government has also assured us of the supply.”

Covid has also started affecting eyes as cases of retinal haemorrhage and conjunctivitis are being reported in the district.

Dr Parul Gupta, an ophthalmologist, said: “We have seen patients with retinal haemorrhage. Conjunctivitis is also common among Covid-recovered patients.”

She said: “Repeated reuse of masks without washing is one of the main reasons of black fungus. So, everyone should wash and air dry cotton masks daily and discard medical, surgical and N95 masks after using once.”

Health expert Dr Vitull K Gupta said: “Probable reasons for the surge in black fungus cases are being studied. The probable causes may be unhygienic way of delivering oxygen, that too industrial, indiscriminate use of steroids, unsanitary use of masks, contaminated humidifiers, low oxygen, diabetes, high iron levels, immunosuppression, prolonged

hospitalisation with mechanical ventilators and excessive use of zinc.”

Bathinda Civil Surgeon Dr Tejwant Singh Dhillon said: “As many as 45 cases of black fungus have been reported here so far but most of them have recovered. There is no shortage of injections, but black fungus is a priority-based treatment. An injection will only be given to those who need it.”

He said: “We are fully supporting AIIMS and have asked them to increase the beds for the black fungus patients. We have also provided them with injections and other support for the benefit of patients.”

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