21052021-TT-01.qxd 5/20/2021 10:40 PM 13 EU SEALS DEAL WITH PFIZER FOR 1.8 BN DOSES WORLD /thetribunechd Page 1 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.139 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 himachal pradesh /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com friday | 21 may 2021 Black fungus epidemic building up, 500 cases in Gujarat alone Declare mucormycosis notifiable disease, Centre tells states Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 20 Hit by an alarming surge in cases of black fungus (mucormycosis) during and after Covid-19 treatment, the government today asked states to notify the lethal disease, mandating every public and private health facility to report all suspected and confirmed cases. Doctors across India have begun calling mucormycosis an “epidemic within a pandemic” with the disease causing maiming, loss of vision and brain infection. Haryana and Rajasthan were the first to make the disease notifiable. Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital alone has 51 patients of black fungus, 75 per cent of them are diabetic. The disease is mostly being seen among diabetic Covid IN BRIEF HC asks hospitals to install oxygen plants DIABETIC COVID PATIENTS ARE MOST VULNERABLE ■ Doctors across India have A doctor studies a scan of a patient to detect black fungus in Jabalpur. PTI 1ST CASE DIAGNOSED IN 2 WHITE FUNGUS CASES HIMACHAL’S HAMIRPUR AT HISAR HOSPITAL A native of Khagar in Hamirpur district, admitted to the IGMC, has been diagnosed with black fungus infection, doctors said. It is the first such case in HP. patients on steroid therapy. The Health Ministry’s letter to states says, “This fungal infection is leading to pro- 2,76,110 FRESH CASES TOTAL DEATHS 45 LAKH Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 20 With no salary since February, Satpal Sharma (49), a non-teaching staff member at a government-aided college in Kurukshetra, was forced to sell his wife’s jewellery to fund his treatment for Covid and ensure provisions for his family. Though 3K employees haven’t been paid since Feb he himself has recovered, his wife is now down with flulike symptoms and is showing no improvement. With no money to afford the expenses of a hospital stay, his dilemma is whether he should wait a couple of days before getting her tested for Covid or take her to hospital. “I have no other source of income. My salary for the last three months has not come in. If my wife tests positive, Continued on Page 9 16-20 LAKH tests daily by tests being done June-end govt aim daily currently AEROSOL CAN TRAVEL 10 MTRS FROM INFECTED PERSON NEW DELHI: The Centre has hint- Geetanjali Gayatri ACTIVE CASES 2,87,122 31,29,878 3,874 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS Kejri may face action under Singapore law No salary, it’s hard times for Hry aided college staffers longed morbidity and mortality among Covid-19 patients. The treatment requires multidisciplinary approach con- As the 24-hour toll fell below 4,000 after a gap of eight days, the Health Ministry stressed over 70% of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities Emphasising on learning from “bitter experience” of the Covid-19 second wave, the Delhi HC has asked all big hospitals in the Capital to install oxygen plants. — IANS ed that it might not come to defence of the Delhi CM who faces action under a Singapore law for linking a Covid strain to the country. BACK PAGE Two cases of white fungus were reported in Hisar on Thursday. A doctor said white fungus, also known as candidiasis, is not of serious nature. Aerosol can travel up to 10 metres from an infected person through air, becoming key mode of transmission, said PM’s principal scientific adviser STATESSHOWINGDIPINCASES STATES WITNESSING SPIKE Maha, R’sthan, UP, Hry, Gujarat, C’garh, Bihar, MP, Delhi & Jharkhand Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram RAPID HOME TESTING KITS IN 4 DAYS A home-based rapid antigen testing kit approved by ICMR is set to hit markets in 4 days Priced at ~250, the kit has been manufactured by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, Pune ICMR said kits by three more firms are in pipeline and likely to get approval within a week Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 20 Punjab seems to be paying a heavy price for being among states with a high load of population suffering from comorbidities. Of the over 3,500 people who died of Covid in the last 20 days, a majority had comorbid conditions. Health experts say the state’s 2.4 per cent Covid fatality rate, the highest in the country, is because of the high load of patients with non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. sisting of eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeons, neurosurgeons, dental Continued on Page 9 26 still missing Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 20 Forty-nine bodies have been found so far in the Arabian Sea near the spot where the ill-fated barge ‘P305’ sunk on the intervening night of May 17 and 18 as Cyclone Tauktae ravaged past the country’s western coast. ELEVEN ABOARD TUG-SHIP MISSING TOO, TWO SAVED After more than three days of search by the Navy and Coast Guard, 26 persons are still missing at sea. Hopes of finding any more survivors are slim, but the search will continue as the sea is known to throw up miraculous survivors even days after accidents, sources in the Navy said. Legally, those missing cannot be presumed dead till there is evidence to support it. Such a search at sea is normally not Continued on Page 9 2 Baijnath villages Covid hotspots Ravinder Sood Palampur, May 20 Residents of Lohardi village of Chhota Bhanghal in Baijnath subdivision of Kangra district have been confined to their homes for the past 15 days. The village nestled amid Dhauladhar ranges has reported two Covid deaths and 35 positive cases so far. Nearby Shuru village is also badly affected by the Covid19 pandemic. Every third person here is Covid positive. Today, 30 fresh cases were reported in the village. Lohardi reported its first Covid-19 case in the first week of May. The patient had OVER 60 CASES IN MAY VIRUS TIGHTENS GRIP ■ Lohardi village has reported two Covid deaths and 35 infections so far ■ Shuru village reported 30 fresh cases on Thursday with every third person testing positive for Covid-19 83% Pb victims had comorbidities Vishav Bharti begun calling mucormycosis an ‘epidemic within a pandemic’ ■ It is mostly seen in diabetic Covid-19 patients on steroids ■ It affects face, nose, eyes and brain, can cause blindness and even removal of jaw bone besides affecting lungs SYMPTOMS ■ Headache, nose secretions, bleeding from the nose, blood in cough, lack of sensation in the face, swelling on one side of the face PRECAUTIONS ■ Diabetics must control their blood sugar levels ■ No steroid therapy for mild Covid patients UNDER 4K DEATHS AFTER 8 DAYS Barge death toll 49, NEW DELHI: HIGHEST FATALITY RATE IN COUNTRY ■ At 2.4%, Punjab has the highest Covid fatality rate in the country ■ The count stood at 2.95% during the first wave ■ 91% of victims in first wave had comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease ■ Over 12,500 have succumbed to virus since March last year A government analysis of the second wave has found that 83 per cent of the over 6,000 victims were suffering from comorbidities. DIDI: WASN’T ALLOWED TO SPEAK AT COVID MEETBACK PAGE Dr JS Thakur, Professor, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, said a global study had put Punjab Continued on Page 9 returned home from another state just before the lockdown. By May 12, the case count in the village had reached 30. The hamlet has been declared a containment zone and mass testing is being undertaken, said Palampur SDM Dharmesh Ramotra. In fact, hundreds of samples have already been collected and sent for testing. “It has been an extremely taxing month for the administration, but our team shall continue working tirelessly,” the SDM said. The Lohardi Sarpanch blamed the spurt in cases on people’s casual approach Continued on Page 9 No Covid deaths at Singhu, claim farmers’ unions Sonepat, May 20 The leaders of 32 groups of protesting farmer unions from Punjab on Thursday said that no farmer had died of Covid at Singhu border. The government was trying to defame the farmers’ protest by spreading lies that a farmer had died of Covid, they alleged. Balbir Singh of Patiala district had died due to a diabetes attack, while another farmer died due to cardiac arrest, they claimed. INSIDE
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