The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday notified regulations for management of Mucormycosis or 'Black Fungus' wherein individuals and organizations have been barred from spreading information regarding the fungus without prior permission from officials.
As per the regulations titled 'J&K Union Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021' notified today by Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education J&K, Atal Dulloo while declaring Mucormycosis as an epidemic under section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, asked government and private health facilities in the UT to follow the guidelines issues by the Union and the local government regarding screening, diagnosis and management of the fungus from time to time.
Such health facilities have been asked to report suspected and confirmed cases to the department through respective CMOs and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programmes (IDSPs).
"No person/ institution or organization will spread any information or material for management of Mucormycosis without prior permission from Director Health Services, Jammu/Kashmir," read the regulations.
They also prohibited individuals and institution or organizations from using "any print/ electronic or any other form of media for Mucormycosis without prior permission from Director Health Services, Jammu/ Kashmir".
According to 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/ irregularity conducted as per this notification, " they read.
"The reply of person/ institution or organization received against the notice will be reviewed by the aforementioned District Committee" .
The regulations further said that if the 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".
According to the regulations, "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)".
"No suit or legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anytbit done or intended to be done in good faith under these regulations, " they further read.