The Pune district administration on Monday informed that as many as 574 cases of black fungus infection have bee reported in city and 25 patients succumbed to the disease, as per a report by news agency ANI.

The data was revealed after Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) directed health officials to screen COVID-19 survivors in rural areas to identify any suspected cases of mucormycosis.

As per an order issued on Sunday by district Collector Rajesh Deshmukh, the health departments in rural areas have been instructed to obtain lists of COVID-19 patients who recovered from the infection after April 15 and conduct the first round of the screening of suspected mucormycosis patients between May 24 and May 27.

The order also said, “If a suspected case of mucormycosis is found during screening, it is expected that he or she should be checked by experts, and if diagnosed with the ailment, the patient should be given necessary medication and referred for further medical/surgical treatment.”

It further stated, the tehsils where the number of COVID-19 recovered patients is high, additional doctors should be made available to carry out the screening. The district administration has already set up a control room for the smooth and equal distribution of anti-fungal drugs needed for the treatment of mucormycosis.

As per Union Health Ministry data, at least 5424 cases of Mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus have been reported from 18 states so far, Gujarat and Maharashtra recording the maximum number of cases.

Out of these, while 4556 cases had a history of Covid-19 infection, the rest are non-covid cases with 55% of the affected having diabetes, union health minister said while chairing the 27th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on covid-19 by a video-conference.

During a press briefing meanwhile, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria stated that people with low immunity are usually infected with fungal diseases such as mucormycosis. He further noted that fungal diseases are not a communicable diseases, i.e. it does not spread from one person to another, like COVID-19.

(With inputs from agencies)

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