World, Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh detects 2 cases of black fungus in capital

We are more alert on preventive measures so people are not infected by fungus amid COVID pandemic, says health official

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 25.05.2021
Bangladesh detects 2 cases of black fungus in capital

DHAKA, Bangladesh

A Bangladeshi hospital in the capital Dhaka has detected two cases of black fungus, which has been declared an epidemic in neighboring India, according to official sources.

One of the patients, aged 45, was diagnosed with black fungus, medically known as mucormycosis, on May 8 and the other, aged 60, on May 23, the local Daily Star newspaper reported Tuesday, citing officials at Birdem General Hospital.

"In our lab, we confirmed two patients with mucormycosis. We are treating them and trying to control their blood sugar," the report quoted Lovely Barai, an associate professor with the department of microbiology at the hospital, as saying.

The country’s health department held an emergency meeting on black fungus last week and sent alert notices to concerned officials at the district level.

Bangladesh shares a more than 4,000-kilometer (2,485-mile) land border with India, which is the longest common border of the country.

Nearly 10,000 people in India have already been infected with black fungus with over 200 deaths while the country’s health authorities have warned that the rare fungal disease with a 50% mortality rate is linked to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Dr. ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of Bangladesh, said they are more concerned about COVID-19, not black fungus.

“Normally, fungus is available in water, soil and air. So our main target is not the treatment after infection. Rather, we are more concentrated on preventive measures so that people are not being infected by it,” Alam said.

He added, however, that the disease is not in any alarming state in Bangladesh.

“We will try our best so that it does not spread amid this global pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Md Shahed Rafi Pavel, chairman of the Bangladesh Doctors’ Foundation, a local medical doctors’ platform, told Anadolu Agency that although the black fungus situation is in a very preliminary stage and not in any alarming state like in India, the issue should be handled properly so that nothing untoward happens in the near future.

“I expect that along with addressing the pandemic, the government will also take necessary steps from urban to grassroots [levels] about the fungus,” he said.

The delta nation has so far recorded 12,401 fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic while the total caseload stands at 790,521, according to official government records.
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