Experts in Karnataka will study whether the rise in the Mucormycosis cases is linked to use of industrial oxygen and its possible contamination or not. The Deputy Chief Minister and the head of the state’s COVID-19 task force C N Ashwath Narayan on Sunday held a meeting with the treatment protocol committee to discuss about the possible sources of the infection.
The state recorded about 700 cases of black fungus infections in the last week and he directed the experts to find its source with various doubts that are being expressed about oxygen supply, quality of piping and cylinders used for it.
Hence, accordingly, a team of microbiologists will start working towards this from Monday, said an official release.
It was noted that the country used to record around 100 cases of black fungus in a year before but the state has recorded about 700 cases in the last week. This sudden increase has been the cause of the anxiety said Narayan.
He also stated that black fungus cases have not been spotted in other COVID hit countries but particularly in India.
Skull surgeon Dr. Sampath Chandra Prasad Rao at Manipal Hospital (Bengaluru) made a presentation about mucormycosis at the meeting to understand the possible reasons for the increase in the cases of black fungus which may be due to contamination that is either due to low-quality cylinders or low-quality piping system at the ICU level in hospitals.
Or else other probable reasons may be due to contamination at the industry level from where the oxygen is being supplied or due to low standard of sterilization or else can be due to other such reasons.
Suspicion was raised that it may be due to usage of ordinary tap water in ventilators, in that context Rao said. “To meet the rise in demand, industrial oxygen is being procured in large quantity and questions have been emanated, about, whether the oxygen supplied from industries matches with the quality of medical oxygen or not. This could also be one of the reasons.”
The microbiologists were asked by the Deputy Chief Minister to record the clinical history of the patients affected by mucormycosis and to do a data analytics on it. With the same he also instructed them to study the source of oxygen supply at the hospital and the quality of piping and cylinders. The quality of water used for ventilators and the quality at the source of supply at the industry plant level are also to be studied.