Superbug could be sinister design of foreign MNCs: Ahluwalia

New Delhi, Aug 22 (Calcutta Tube) Contending that the report of a superbug from India could be a ‘sinister design’ of foreign multinational companies, senior Bharatiya Janata Party member S.S. Ahluwalia Thursday said the government should make a record of infections and antibiotics required for treatment.

According to a report in a British scientific journal, a new superbug had been detected in about 37 cases in Britain, mainly among patients who had travelled to India and Pakistan for cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment and transplants.

Scientists have warned that the superbug — an enzyme they have called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 or NDM-1 — could spread worldwide because it is resistant to almost all antibiotics and nothing has been developed to combat it.

Ahluwalia said in a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha that the timing of the article was suspicious as it came when India is emerging as a global power in medical tourism.

‘It may be a sinister design of multinational companies around the world,’ he said, adding that with globalisation, it was not just populations that were migrating, but also virus and bacteria.

But Ahluwalia, who is deputy leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, also wanted the government to do its bit.

‘When we are emerging as a destination of medical tourism, we must come out with a registry that will record infections when they are detected in hospitals, and also antibiotics for their treatment,’ Ahluwalia said.

He also quoted Indian Council of Medical Research head V.M. Katoch who said in a media report that India currently does not have any rules or registry to record hospital-acquired infections.

Minister of State for Science and Technology and Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan said he will get back to parliament on the matter ‘after consulting with the health ministry and department of biotechnology’.

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