His remarks come amid reports of black fungus detected in Bangladesh
Amid reports of suspected black fungus cases in Bangladesh, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has urged all not to be afraid over it.
"We have been made aware of one or two cases of black fungus. There is no need to panic," he said on Tuesday.
The minister made the remarks at an event in Dhaka to inaugurate the administering China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
Black fungus, also known as mucormycosis, is normally a rare infection which has a mortality rate of 50%.
Bangladesh has reported cases of black fungus involving a recovered Covid-19 patient.
Prof Delwar Hossain, head of the Respiratory Medicine Department at Birdem General Hospital said: “Two patients, recovered from Covid-19 infections, have been infected by black fungus with one undergoing treatment at the hospital."
“Another patient who might have been infected by black fungus died three days back. However, we’re still not sure whether he died of black fungus but he died of Covid-19 for sure,” Prof Delwar added.
In recent months, thousands of cases involving recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients have been recorded in India.
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According to Health Minister Maleque, elderly persons and individuals with low-immunity need to be careful over the issue.
"I have already instructed the pharmaceutical companies to start manufacturing medicines required for the fungal treatment, in case the number of black fungus patients increase," he said.
Mucormycosis is a relatively uncommon infection. Mucor mould, which is commonly found in dirt, seeds, manure, and rotting fruits and vegetables, causes it.
It is ubiquitous and found in soil and air and even in the nose and mucus of healthy people.
It affects the sinuses, the brain, and the lungs, and it can be fatal in diabetics or people who are seriously immune-compromised, such as cancer patients or people with HIV-Aids.
Over the vaccine issue, the minister said there is a shortage of 1.5 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and its second dose recipients can now take their jabs even after four months.
The government is working relentlessly to procure the vaccines, he added.
He also said discussions are underway over producing Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh, reports UNB.
“Like medicines, it’ll be possible to export vaccines after meeting the domestic demand,” he added.