Home / News / India /  Maintain hygiene, train medical staff: Govt's new pointers to states on black fungus

With several states reporting cases of Mucormycosis, popularly known as Black Fungus, as a post COVID complication, the Centre on Friday advised states and UTs on how to tackle the malady and also asked them review their preparedness for it.

In a letter to all state and UT administration, the Union Health Secretary urged them to undertake certain practices and activities to ensure that they are well prepared for it. The Centre has also assured them to provide all necessary assistance during such testing times.

Here is what the Centre asked the states to do:

  1. Establish and activate the Hospital Infection Control Committee with the head of the institution or an administrator as the chairperson.
  2. Designate an infection prevention and control nodal officer – preferably a microbiologist or senior infection control nurse.
  3. Prepare and implement the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Programme in the hospital/health facilities, as per the national guidelines. These include, infection prevention and control manual, guidelines on antimicrobial use and management, educational programmes and strategies, risk assessment and risk management, planning, monitoring, audit and feedback and also implementation strategies.
  4. Emphasise and strengthen procedures and practices for IPC. In the context of COVID-19, standard precautions are to be applied all across the hospital and health facility. The directive also said, transmission-based precautions need heightened focus on droplet, airborne and contact precautions from the perspective of protecting healthcare workers and ensuring patient safety.
  5. Improve the environment and facilitate. This includes ventilation with focus on fresh air and natural ventilation wherever control systems with requisite air changes are not available. And also cleaning, disinfection and sanitation of the hospital environment and frequently touched surface. Safe water and food to be provided to patients to prevent water or food borne diseases. Also biomedical waste needs to be managed as per the CPCB guidelines.
  6. Infection Prevention and Control practices needs to be enhanced in Intensive Care Units using a bundle-approach to prevent device associated infections such as ventilator associated pneumonia or catheter-associated blood stream, urinary infections etc.
  7. Infection Prevention and control practise in the clinical laboratories and those attached to hospitals are very crucial for the safety of laboratory/hospital staff and health security of the community.
  8. Meticulous adherence to Infection Prevention and Control while managing immunocompromised patients such as COVID-19 patients on steroid treatment, with co-morbidities needs to be established.
  9. In due course, establish surveillance of healthcare associated infections with focus on ventilator associated pneumonia, catheter-associated blood stream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, surgical site infections, gastro-intestinal outbreaks.

10. Train all hospital staff to develop their skills in IPC, irrespective of their individual routine duties

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