J&K declares black fungus as epidemic disease

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Govt prohibits spread of any information or material for management of Mucormycosis without permission of DHSK/DHSJ; Violation of regulations to invite action under section 188 IPC

Srinagar: The administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory on Monday declared black fungus or mucormycosis as an epidemic disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act- 1897.

The Health and Medical Education today issued a notification to declare black fungus as an epidemic disease.

The move comes days after the government of India directed the states and union territories to make black fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

According to “The Jammu and Kashmir Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations- 2021” , all the government and private health facilities  will follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of Mucormycosis and make it mandatory for all these facilities to report suspected and confirmed cases to Health department through district- level chief medical officers and integrated disease surveillance

The regulations ban spread of any information or material for management of Mucormycosis without prior permission from Director Health Services, Jammu/Kashmir.

They also forbid any person/ institution or organization from using any print/ electronic or any other form of media for Mucormycosis without prior permission from Director Health Services, Jammu/ Kashmir.

As per the regulations, the director Health Services, Jammu/ Kashmir shall constitute a district committee headed by chief medical officer of the concerned district, which will have specialist of Internal medicine, ophthalmology, ENT and epidemiologist as members to review any disobeying by the person/ institution or organization of the notification or any order issued under these regulations.

“If disobeying is proved, a notice would be issued by the chief medical officer of the concerned district against such person / institution organization, indicating the offence/ irregularly conducted as per this notification. The reply of person/ institution or organization received against the notice will be reviewed by the aforementioned district committee.

If reply is not received within stipulated time of receipt of the notice or if the reply is found unsatisfactory by the committee and it is confirmed that the person/ institution or organization has disobeyed regulations, the chief medical officer of concerned district will take necessary action against the delinquent person/ institution or organization as per section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897,” reads the regulations, a copy of which is with the Kashmir based news agency

The regulations further read that any person/ institution or organization disobeying these Regulations or order issued under these Regulations shall be deemed to have committed as offence punishable under section 188 of Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)

Jammu and Kashmir reported its first death due to black fungus on Friday after a 40-year-old Covid-19 recovered patient died of mucormycosis at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Jammu

As per the officials of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Government Dental College, Srinagar, one case of mucormycosis was successfully operated in the institution in Nov 2020 and another strong suspect case is presently admitted there (KNO)

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