Cases of "black fungus" in India have risen to 10,000, the junior minister responsible for chemicals and fertilizers on Tuesday.
The disease, called mucormycosis, is a rare and potentially deadly infection that is increasingly being detected among recovered Covid patients in the country, especially those with diabetes.
“We started seeing it all of a sudden from the second week of May and within 15 days it has reached 10,000 cases,” minister Mansukh Mandaviya told local media ANI.
At least 120 deaths have been recorded in Maharashtra state, home to the most populous city Mumbai, according to CNN affiliate CNN-News 18. The state’s health minister Rajesh Tope said 2,245 cases of the disease have been recorded in Maharashtra alone.
Meanwhile, several states faced a shortage of the drug Amphotericin B, which is used in the treatment of black fungus.
“If a disease spreads so much and with such speed, India did not have that much (required) medicine production,” Mandaviya said, adding an order had been placed to import 700,000 vials of the drug.
At least eight states, including Maharashtra, have declared black fungus a notifiable disease in accordance with state government directives to notify all cases.
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