Amid a spurt in black fungus cases across country, the Centre has decided to impose restrictions on the export of Amphotericin-B injections which is used for treating patients suffering from the deadly infection. The announcement comes after several states have complaining of shortage of the medicine.
As per a notice issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) today, export of the injections have been put in the restricted category. This means that an exporter would need permission or licence from the directorate for its outbound shipments.
Mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, has wreaked havoc across India, especially in COVID-19 patients who have been administered heavy doses of steroids to treat the infection. The infection has emerged as a post COVID-19 complication, especially among the diabetes patients with high sugar levels. Many states have declared black fungus as a epidemic disease including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Bihar under the Epidemic Act 1897.
On Sunday, a consignment of 200,000 AmBisome (Amphotericin B injection), used in black fungus treatment reached India on early Sunday.
“Another consignment of AmBisome from @GileadSciences, used in Black Fungus treatment, reaches India. Total 200,000 doses already there so far. More to follow!” tweeted Ambassador of India to United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also instructed all concerned officials to arrange the drug from anywhere in the world on a war footing.
Last week, the 43rd GST Council had announced to include Amphotericin B, medicine used for the treatment of the fungal infection, in the GST exemptions list for free distribution. FM Nirmala Sitharaman said, due to rising cases of black fungus, Amphotericin B has also been included in the exemptions list.