Bengaluru At least 39 persons are suspected to have died due to Mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, in Karnataka, according to data released by the state government on Sunday.
Dharwad, about 450 kms from Bengaluru, has so far registered at least eight suspected deaths while Shivamogga recorded five and Kalaburagi four. Bengaluru has reported at least 3 deaths due to black fungus, data shows.
“Even though it has been stated that there have been 30-35 deaths due to black fungus, we have instructed that a proper death audit will be done,” Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka’s minister for health, family welfare and medical education said in a statement on Sunday.
The sharp spike in cases of black fungus adds to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in Karnataka and other places across the country where the disease has been detected.
Karnataka has so far recorded 1250 cases of black fungus, according to the state government. Of this 1,193 patients are currently undergoing treatment and 18 of them have been cured, data shows.
Sudhakar said that around 8,000 to 10,000 vials of Amphotericin B, a drug used to treat those infected by black fungus have been allocated to Karnataka.
The state has also set up a task force specifically to look into the growing number of black fungus cases.
According to the data, there are 521 cases of black fungus recorded in Bengaluru, 119 in Dharwad, 102 in Kalaburagi, 68 in Bagalkote and 57 in Vijayapura.
The cause of white and black fungus, both distinguished by their pigmentation, has been attributed, among other reasons, to the possibility of contamination either due to low-quality cylinders or low-quality piping systems at intensive care units of the hospital. Authorities are even trying to see if there has been contamination at the industry level from where the oxygen is being supplied due to improper sterilization or any other reasons. It may be also due to the usage of ordinary tap water in ventilators, according to officials.
Meanwhile, Karnataka saw its positivity rate dip to 14.68% as 20,378 new Covid infections were reported on Sunday, according to the daily health bulletin of the state government.
At least 28,053 persons have recovered in the state, which has brought down the total number of active cases to 342,010, the bulletin stated.
Bengaluru accounted for 4,734 new infections and 6,078 recoveries in India’s IT capital, which brings down its active caseload to 162,625. The state recorded 382 fatalities in a single day of which Bengaluru accounts for 213, it added. Fatality rate stood at 1.87%.
The state has seen the second wave prolong its stay as it records a slower vaccination drive.
“Karnataka is No.1 state in south India in vaccination drive. The drive will move faster as vaccine delivery is picking pace, thanks to GOI support. State received the following on May 29 under the GOI quota: 80,000 doses of COVAXIN. 2,17,310 doses of COVISHIELD,” Sudharkar said in a post on Twitter.
Karnataka has so far administered 13,396,169 doses of vaccines in the state of which the second dose accounts for 2,726,385, according to data.
51,679 doses administered till 3.30 pm on Sunday of which 5,417 were second doses.