Black Fungus: Medicine shortage in Bihar as state records over 400 cases

Cases of the deadly Black Fungus are on the rise in Bihar with the state government confirming there have been more than 400 infections. So far, 39 people have died due to the disease. Most of the patients are being treated at two hospitals – All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna and Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) – as two other Covid hospitals lack tools for surgery to treat mucormycosis, commonly known as Black Fungus.

With most patients going to AIIMS and IGIMS for treatment – where there are just 260 beds for such cases – the hospitals are facing a crunch.


Lack of beds and medical supplies have sent the two hospitals into a tailspin as they struggle to accommodate the overpouring patients. Doctors say that a major hindrance in treating the patients is the shortage of the key drug Liposomal Amphotericin B used to treat Black Fungus.

“All the Black Fungus cases at the hospital are very severe and around 50 per cent of patients’ brain has been affected,” Dr Kranti Bhavna Additional Professor AIIMS Patna told NDTV. The doctor says she feels helpless as no matter how much effort they put in, everything is in vain if there is no medicine.

“Lack of medicines is the biggest problem. As a doctor, I feel bad that at the end of the day it is a medical problem and even if I operate, I don’t have the drug, what will happen?” Dr Bhavna added.

Dr Manish Mandal, the Superintendent of IGIMS, says the fatal disease has seeped into villages due to lack of cleanliness. “We have hospital beds; we are getting medicines slowly. We have received 500 vials with which we can treat 100 patients; each patient requires 5 vials of the drug,” Dr Mandal adds.

The state government is in denial mode about the situation and claims that the shortage of medicines is being dealt with on priority and all patients are being administered the drug-free of cost on admission to hospitals.

“The spike in Black Fungus was reported on around May 12 or 13. The state immediately issued an order and medicines were dispersed to hospitals as early as May 15 to tackle the crisis,” Health Minister Mangal Pandey told NDTV.