As many as 5,424 cases of mucormycosis or black fungus have been reported from 18 states, with a majority of them in Gujarat and Maharashtra, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.
“Nine lakh vials of Amphotericin-B are being imported by the central government for the treatment of Black Fungus. Of this, 50,000 vials have been received and around three lakh vials will be available in the next seven days," he said.
Speaking at the 27th group of ministers meeting on COVID-19, he said that Gujarat reported 2,165 cases, Maharashtra 1,188, Uttar Pradesh 663, Madhya Pradesh 590, Haryana 339 and Andhra Pradesh 248 cases.
"Out of these 5,424 cases of mucormycosis, we have seen that 4, 556 cases have a history of COVID-19 infection, while 875 cases are amongst non-COVID patients. Diabetes was present in 55 percent of the patients.
"We have been warning, issuing advisories and, through our experts, it has been communicated that indiscriminate use of steroids must be avoided and diabetes must be treated thoroughly as best as possible," he said.
Nineteen states have already declared mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the Epidemics Act, he informed.
A notifiable disease is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
On Genome sequencing, Vardhan informed that 25,739 samples have been sequenced and variant B.1.617 has been found in 5,261 samples, which is almost 65 percent of the samples, "making it one of the most common mutations to be detected till now".
He also informed that states have been requested to send samples regularly for better analysis.
Giving a snapshot of India's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Vardan said for the 11th day in succession, the recoveries are more than new cases in the country.
"This is also the eighth day in succession where we are having less than three lakh daily new cases. This is a positive sign.
"Right now, our active cases in the country are 27 lakhs. A couple of weeks back, we had over 37 lakh active cases.
He cautioned on the high number of fatalities being reported and said that each death is tragic.
On vaccines and clinical intervention, Vardhan observed, “We have already given 19.6 crore doses to our countrymen. Over 60 lakh doses are still with the states and further 21 lakh doses are in the pipeline.”
He noted that the Union Government has already sent over 70 lakh Remdesivir vials and 45,735 ventilators to states and UTs. The health minister also highlighted the implementation of SoPs of the Union Government on COVID management in peri-urban/urban/tribal areas. These are being actively pursued and monitored regularly by the Health Ministry in the state review meetings, he said.
Sujeet K Singh, Director of NCDC, presented a detailed report on the trajectory of the COVID pandemic in the states and UTs, a health ministry statement said.
He cautioned that at 7.86 percent, India's growth rate is a matter of concern.
He showed figures related to the number of cases, the number of deaths, their growth rate and how they compared to the rest of the world.
He presented a granular analysis of the trajectory of the pandemic in each state pointing out critical parameters like positivity, RAT and RT-PCR percent breakup, the concentration of cases in particular districts and other trends like fatality and hospitalisation status of affected states.
Till May 23, India has conducted 32,86,07,937 tests with 2,38,121 Tests Per Million (TPM) and an overall positivity rate of 8.07 percent. More than half (53.74 percent) of total tests conducted are RT-PCR, the statement said.
Vardhan was joined by Hardeep S Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, and Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (I/C), and Chemical and Fertilizers, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health, and D Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog also joined digitally.