A coronavirus surge in India has resulted in the country facing fatalities of nearly 300,000. India has reported over 26 million cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began. More than half of these new cases have occurred in the past two months.
Furthermore, doctors in India have reported a new fatal fungal infection that is affecting COVID-19 patients. Mucormycosis is the life-threatening condition that is further complicating India’s fight against the pandemic. It is caused by exposure to mucor mold, which is found in air, soil and human’s noses. The fungus spreads through the respiratory tract and doctors sometimes have to remove facial features in order to stop infection spreading to the brain. On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported an additional 3,741 new deaths, with confirmed total fatalities of 299,266. It also reported 240,842 new cases, with daily infection rates remaining below 300,000 for the previous week.
Individuals who are affected by mucormycosis experience a high mortality rate. “It is a new challenge and things are looking bleak,” said Ambrish Mithal, the head of the endocrinology and diabetes department at Max Healthcare. “Earlier I used to come across just a few cases every year but the current infection rate is frightening”. Experts believed that coronavirus cases in India were slowing. However, this new fungus is quickly becoming a case of worry.
Unfortunately, unqualified doctors in rural India were prescribing steroids to patients facing the disease. “This has led to increase in black fungus cases in smaller cities where the patient has not even been hospitalized,” said SK Pandey, medical officer at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Local media announced that over 250 people have died due to the disease.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry asked states to declare the spread of the condition as an epidemic. This would require governments to track and report all new cases to a federal surveillance network.