Delhi declared Black Fungus infection or Mucormycosis, which has affected nearly 12,000 people in India already, as an Epidemic on May 27.
The Delhi government order notifying the disease read: "The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is satisfied that Delhi is threatened with the outbreak of a dangerous epidemic disease, namely, Mucormycosis, among immune-compromised patients, especially COVID-19 patients being treated with steroids and that the ordinary provision of law for the time being in force are insufficient for the purpose."
In the National Capital, which has reported more than 600 cases of Black Fungus infection already, 'The Delhi Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021' will remain valid for one year, the Delhi government said on May 27.
During this time, both government and private healthcare facilities will be required to report "each and every suspected or confirmed case of Mucormycosis" to the Health Department through a medical superintendent/medical director/hospital in-charge/chief district medical officer of the concerned district.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had earlier urged all states and Union territories to declare Black Fungus a notified disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, stating it has led to prolonged morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.