B'luru 'black fungus' cases surge; 3rd hospital opened

Third government hospital begins admitting patients as Bengaluru 'black fungus' cases surge

KC General Hospital has reserved 30 beds to treat black fungus patients out of 130 Covid beds

Bengaluru saw 74 new 'black fungus' cases in just eight days From June 17 to June 24. Credit: PTI Photo

Black Fungus cases in Bengaluru crossed the 1,000-mark on June 22 and the government has since been forced to forced to admit patients in other hospitals as the two designated hospitals treating mucormycosis are running short of beds. The cases in the city on June 26 stood at 1,034.

State-run KC General Hospital in Malleshwaram admitted its first two Mucormycosis patients on Wednesday and Thursday as two government hospitals in Bengaluru, designated as nodal treatment centres for the fungal infection — Victoria Hospital and Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital — have only 30 and three beds vacant, respectively.

KC General has reserved 30 beds to treat black fungus patients out of 130 Covid beds. Victoria has 100 beds reserved and has treated 200 patients so far. Bowring has reserved 160 beds and has treated 312 patients so far.

With 74 new black fungus cases reported in Bengaluru in just eight days, from 947 cases on June 16, to 1,021 cases on Thursday (June 24), other government hospitals like Jayanagar General Hospital, CV Raman General Hospital, and Yelahanka General Hospital are gearing up to reserve beds to treat this fungus.

"However, government hospitals like KR Puram General Hospital and Epidemic Diseases Hospital won't be taking in Mucormycosis patients for the lack of ophthalmologists and ENT doctors. Other government hospitals at least have one doctor each from these two specialties," said District Surgeon Dr Ansar Ahmed, Bangalore Urban.

Read | After miraculous recovery, Bengaluru's 'black fungus' survivors await facial reconstruction

Dr BR Venkateshaiah, medical superintendent, KC General Hospital said, "One week back, we were told to start a 30-bedded mucormycosis ward as cases are surging in Bengaluru. We've got 130 Covid beds. One 45-year-old patient is from Kunigal and has already undergone surgeries elsewhere. Another 21-year-old youngster who also underwent surgery elsewhere was admitted here last night for review and administration of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections."

The hospital has a stock of 20 Amphotericin injections. A team has also been formed to treat black fungus patients. The team comprises three ENT surgeons, three ophthalmologists, and one maxillofacial surgeon. The hospital has also signed an MoU with an ENT surgeon Dr Subramanya Rao, who used to operate at private hospital Rangadore Memorial Hospital.

"This surgeon will visit KC General with his team and instruments, and operate free of cost. He will also provide training to our doctors. He has already done 130 surgeries outside," said Venkateshaiah.

CV Raman General Hospital has 151 Covid beds. "We have one ENT surgeon and one ophthalmologist. But we do not have a maxillofacial surgeon and neither do we have a laboratory. Also, we do not have an MRI scanner for patients at our hospital. If KC General's beds are exhausted, then the government will give us instructions to start a ward here too," said medical superintendent Dr HDR Radhakrishna.

Jayanagar General Hospital has 125 Covid beds. Medical Superintendent Dr Ramakrishnappa said, "Till now, we detected eight mucormycosis patients which we referred to other hospitals. Henceforth, we will admit them here itself. We will decide the percentage of reservation for Mucormycosis tomorrow." Luckily, the hospital has a 11-member team of two ENT surgeons, physicians, two ophthalmic surgeons, five general surgeons, and two maxillofacial surgeons.

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