The Centre on Wednesday asked the states and the Union territories to announce Mucormycosis, commonly known as the 'black fungus' disease, as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.
In a letter to the states and the Union territories, Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary of the Union health and family welfare said all government-run and private healthcare facilities and must follow the guidelines issued by the Centre and the ICMR for screening, diagnosis and management of Mucormycosis.
"It must be mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to the health department through chief medical officer and subsequently to IDSP surveillance system," Agarwal wrote.
Hospitals across the country have been reporting cases of a rare coronavirus-linked fungal infection that affects the sinuses, the brain, and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immune-compromised individuals such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.
The top bureaucrat acknowledged the rising number of reported cases of Mucormycosis from various states as the "new challenge" while expressing concern over use of steroid therapy in the treatment of coronavirus disease cases.
It has been reported that this disease (Black Fungus) is caused by the steroid administered in the treatment of Covid-19 infection.
Last week, Haryana declared Mucormycosis as a notified disease and the state health department called a meeting on ways to deal with the fungal infection.