India rejects superbug link, blames MNCs

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: India on Thursday described linking a new superbug
resistant to antibiotics to this country as “malicious propaganda” and blaming global MNCs for alert issued by Britain in this regard.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), attached to the Union Ministry of Health rejected the study and claimed multinational companies, worried about India’s medical tourism industry, could be behind the scare.

"We strongly refute the naming of this enzyme as New Delhi metallo beta lactamase," the department said.

"We also refute that hospitals in India are not safe for treatment, including medical tourism," it added.

According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious
Diseases, a hospital-acquired superbug which cannot be treated by the existing drugs is originating from India.

The sector has been estimated at Rs 1200 crore.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases pointed out that the bug was a global phenomena and a similar alert was issued in the UK in 2009. In fact Israel, Greece and Scotland had also earlier issued an alert about the ‘superbug’ and none had claimed an India link to it.

Quoting experts, BBC has claimed that bacteria that
make an enzyme called NDM-1 or New Delhi-Metallo-1, have
travelled back with NHS patients who went abroad to countries
like India and Pakistan for treatments such as cosmetic
surgery.

V M Katoch, Secretary of Health Research, told PTI
that the government would soon draft a reply to this after a
meeting of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), a
nodal agency under the Health Ministry.

"When you link it to something to our anti-biotics
policy, say India specific, say it is dangerous to get
operated in India then you will get more infections, that is
totally irrational," he said.

Various experts in India also slammed the claim of Britain.

"Multi drug-resistant organism is a worldwide phenomenon.
Telling that it has originated in India is wrong," Professor N
K Ganguly, former director of ICMR and a distinguished
biotechnologist, said.

"Such organisms have been reported in various European
countries in the past. None had earlier taken interest in
finding the same in developing countries and now that it has
been traced in India, saying that it originated here is
wrong," he said.

Dr Sarman Singh, professor of laboratory medicine, AIIMS,
said finding such organisms is a routine matter amongst those
admitted in hospitals here and in certain cases doctors have
achieved success in treating patients with such complaints.

Dr Shanta Nagarajan, microbiology department head at
Rockland Hospital said that the two common bacteria E Coli and
Pneumoniae being resistant to antibiotics is a known
phenomenon worldwide. She said that research work has already
been undertaken in the country to detect such isolated cases
and find out the solution to it.

-PTI inputs

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