The national capital Delhi has so far recorded 1,044 cases of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, as of Thursday morning, Health Minister Satyendra Jain has said.

While 92 people have recovered from the fungal infection, about 89 others have succumbed to the disease. In recent months, Mucormycosis has been found to be more prevalent among Covid-19 patients.

The Delhi government has declared black fungus an epidermic disease. However, treatment of patients has been hit by a severe shortage of Amphotericin-B, which is prescribed for the disease. Till Tuesday, Delhi had received 4,670 vials of the drug. On an average, each patient requires about 50 vials per week.

In the wake of an increase in black fungus disease among Covid-19 patients, the Union Health Ministry had notified it under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, in March and had urged all states and union territories to declare it as an epidermic. States were also asked to report all cases of black fungus to the Central Government.

The Centre has announced steps, including integrated goods-and-services-tax (IGSI) exemption, to increase availability of Amphotericin-B through imports. Last Friday, the Centre told the Delhi High Court that 14,872 cases of Black Fungus were being treated across the country. The Health Ministry has asked the External Affairs Ministry to procure 2,30,000 vials of Lipisomal Amphotericin-B from Australia, Russia, Germany, Belgium and China. Domestic manufacturers have also been asked to ramp up production.


Meanwhile, Delhi on Thursday recorded 487 new Covid-19 infections, lower than the 576 cases recorded on the previous day. The death toll in the 24 hours to Thursday came in at 45, taking the total death count since the beginning of the pandemic to 24,447. On Wednesday, the death toll stood at 103.

The daily test positivity rate has dropped further to 0.61 per cent. This is the fourth straight day that the positivity rate has remained below 1 per cent.

While the number of tests conducted on Thursday stood at 80,046, the number of beneficiaries vaccinated in the last 24 hours stood at 38,126.

The active Covid-19 cases in Delhi stood at 8,748, while the case fatality rate stood at 1.71 per cent.


In a separate development, the Delhi Government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking closure of 10 thermal power plants in the vicinity of Delhi that use old/ outdated polluting technology. The petition has been filed in respect of 10 coal-fired thermal power plants in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh that are contributing significantly to air pollution in the National Capital Region. The 10 thermal power plants are – Dadri NCTPP (UP), Harduaganj TPS (UP), GH TPS (Lehra Mohabbat) (PB), Nabha TPP (PB), Ropar TPS (PB), Talwandi Sabo TPP (PB), Yamunanagar TPS (HR), Indira Gandhi STPP (HR), Panipat TPS (HR) and Rajiv Gandhi TPS (HR).