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Black Fungus Disease : What Is The Treatment Protocol?Bombay High Court Asks Centre, State Govt

Sharmeen Hakim
18 May 2021 2:20 PM GMT
Black Fungus Disease : What Is The Treatment Protocol?Bombay High Court Asks Centre, State Govt
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The Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) has enquired the Central Government and Maharashtra State Government about the treatment protocol to treat the 'Black Fungus Disease".During the hearing of the suo moto case taken to consider COVID issues, advocate M. Anilkumar for the intervenor sought directions citing shortage of the drug Amphotericin, used for treating the patients infected with...

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The Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) has enquired the Central Government and Maharashtra State Government about the treatment protocol to treat the 'Black Fungus Disease".

During the hearing of the suo moto case taken to consider COVID issues, advocate M. Anilkumar for the intervenor sought directions citing shortage of the drug Amphotericin, used for treating the patients infected with fungal disease called "Mucormycosis", commonly known as "Black Fungus" disease. Diabetic patients are especially falling victims to this disease post-covid-19.

A bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote said it was not aware of any protocol devised by the Central Government and/or State Government to combat the Black Fungus disease or the drugs used for its treatment.

"We shall be benefited if the State Government apprises this court on this issue. The parties are also at liberty to enlighten this court on this aspect," the bench said.

"This Court is not aware of any protocol havingbeen devised by the Central Government and/or State Government for combating the Black Fungus disease.It is also not known as to which drugs are expected to be the part of standard treatment to be given to the patients having Black Fungus disease. We shall be benefited if the State Government apprises this Court on this issue. The parties are also at liberty to enlighten this Court on this aspect"

Oxygen generation plants

The court will now take up the Suo Motu PIL for hearing on Wednesday.

The Court also paved the way for six oxygen generation plants to be set up in three major government hospitals in Nagpur city using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of public sector companies.

The oxygen plants are likely to come up at the Government Medical College Hospital (GMC), Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital, and AIIMS (Nagpur) within the next 16 weeks from the work order.

The CSR funds of Rs. 15,38,00,000 are from Coal India Ltd, Western Coalfields Ltd (a subsidiary of CIL), and MOIL – the state-owned manganese ore mining company headquartered in Nagpur. The project is estimated at Rs. 14, 96, 24,000.

The bench  gave the State its approval to issue work orders to Uttar Pradesh based W2E Engineering Private Limited, following a tender process on May 13. The State approached the court after the District Level Committee approved the company.

The court has passed several orders to ensure CSR funds from public and private companies are used for Covid-10 management within their jurisdiction in the Vidarbha region, especially Nagpur.

According to the State's application, GMC and IGGMC will have 3 and 2 oxygen generation plants. The bigger one will produce 200 cubic meters per hour and cost Rs. 2,86,74,000, while the smaller one can produce 100 cubic meter ton per hour at Rs. 1, 74,00,000.

"Considering the total costs of these projects which comes to Rs.14,96,24,000/- as against the CSR funds available as of now amounting to Rs.15.38 crores contributed by WCL, CIL and MOIL, we are of the view that since the total cost is almost according to the propose for which the CSR contribution has been made by these public sector companies…we grant our approval to these proposals and accordingly respondent No.6 may issue the workorders to the companies as per the details given in the chart as regards the proposals from serial Nos.1 to 6 on or before the next date of hearing," the bench said in its order.

The court, however, put its approval on hold for setting up oxygen plants at two private hospitals Shalinitai Meghe Hospital at Wanadongri, and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital at Hingna, from the CSR funds.

During the hearing amicus curiae, advocate Shreerang Bhandarkar and advocate Anil Kumar for an intervenor said the two hospitals are providing treatment to covid patients at a nominal charge.

The bench has now asked the hospitals to state their ability or otherwise to set up oxygen generation plants at their costs, clarifying that the court would consider the financial assistance if required.

"We, therefore, put on hold the proposals for issuance of work orders to the institutions appearing at serial Nos.7 and 8 in the chart given in the application till further orders."

CSR funds

The court directed Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) to submit details of oxygen facilities and CSR funds available with the association's industries in an earlier order. Last week, counsel Jatin Kumar submitted data for 136 companies, while 24 are yet to respond.

A few companies have come forward to donate money for covid-19 management over and above their CSR liabilities.

Click here to read/download the order






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