Steps underway to tackle black fungus: Health Minister


25th May, 2021 05:57:42 PM printer

Steps underway to tackle black fungus: Health Minister

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said necessary steps are being taken to deal with black fungus and urged all to not be scared of the disease as it has not spread that much in Bangladesh.

“A few cases of black fungus have been detected in the country along with the Indian variant of Covid-19. But there’s no need to panic over the disease as it hasn’t spread that much,” the minister said while inaugurating a vaccination programme at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Pharmaceutical companies have been asked to increase the production of medicines that are used to treat black fungus infection, he said, adding that the department concerned has been instructed about the treatment of the disease.

The Health Minister also said discussions are underway over producing vaccines in Bangladesh. “Like medicines, it’ll be possible to export vaccines after meeting the domestic demand,” he added.

Two Covid-19 patients have reportedly been found infected with ‘black fungus’ at BIRDEM Hospital in Dhaka.

“Two patients, recovered from Covid-19 infections, have been infected by black fungus with one undergoing treatment at the hospital,” Prof Delwar Hossain, head of the Respiratory Medicine Department at the hospital, told UNB earlier in the day. 

“Another patient who might have been infected by black fungus died three days back. However, we’re still not sure whether he died of black fungus but he died of Covid-19 for sure,” Prof Delwar added.

India has reported more than 8,800 cases of deadly "black fungus" in a growing epidemic of the disease, reports the BBC.

Normally a rare infection, called mucormycosis, has a mortality rate of 50%, with some only saved by removing an eye.

But, in recent months, India saw thousands of cases affecting the already recovered or recovering Covid-19 patients. 

Doctors say there is a link with the steroids used to treat Covid. Diabetic patients are at particular risk.

Doctors have told the BBC it seems to strike 12 to 18 days after the recovery from Covid.