The use of MB in the state began in Bhavnagar with veteran pulmonologist Dr Deepak Golwalkar using it to treat his Covid patients and was limited to a few isolated cases elsewhere. This, however, changed rapidly after the deadly second wave when many others too started to campaign for the cheap drug. Observations regarding its success in avoiding the Black Fungus have added to the popularity.
According to Golwalkar, the anti-fungal activity of MB is very strong and known since over a century. “Those patients who were treated with MB have not developed the fungus at all,” he said. Golwalkar said that he had treated around 7,000 patients so far using MB and none of them had Mucormycosis.
Golwalkar says that MB can be given orally, through a nebuliser or intravenous He said that even patients who were on oxygen under his treatment did not get the fungal infection. Apart from mucormycosis, the patients also did not suffer from post-Covid fibrosis of the lungs.
The mass popularity of MB came from Surat where a campaign was started to ensure that it reached every home. Activist Ashwin Sankdasariya along with like minded people started working on the project. The group believes that MB is an effective and cheap weapon against Covid and, now, mucormycosis. “There cab be multiple reasons for the infection including use of industrial oxygen, using tapped water in oxygen humidifiers, comorbidities and others. We ran six Covid isolation centres and treated patients there using methylene blue. None of the patients treated by us got mucormycosis,” claimed Sankdasariya.
Sankdasariya pointed out that many doctors were using MB, but were not willing to go public with information. MB is also being used in oxygen humidifiers by some doctors, he said. Sankdasariya said that the group in Surat itself has distributed over four lakh litres MB.