At least 3,207 cases of black fungus, or mucormycosis, have been reported across five Indian states: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana and Gujarat.
Maharashtra reported more than 2,000 cases, according to the Indian Ministry of Health last week.
About 573 cases have been detected in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state’s chief minister Shivraj Chauhan on Wednesday.
The minister has also asked that a task force be formed to monitor the disease in the state, the state’s department of information tweeted on Tuesday.
At least 115 cases have been detected in Haryana and 150 in Telangana, according to state health officials, and at least 369 cases have been found in one Gujarat hospital.
“We now have a new challenge of black fungus. We need to be cautious and prepare for it,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, while addressing a gathering of doctors in his constituency Varanasi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
At least seven states — Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Odisha, Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka — have declared the disease a notifiable disease in accordance with the central government’s advisory to collect data on the number of cases reported.
More on black fungus: In early May, doctors in India began raising the alarm about a rise in mucormycosis. Many of those being infected are coronavirus patients, or those who have recently recovered from Covid-19, whose immune systems have been weakened by the virus or who have underlying conditions — most notably diabetes.