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Northeast recorded its first death due to mucormycosis, commonly known as ‘black fungus’ when a 27-year-old man died at a private hospital in Guwahati after his recovery from COVID-19, health officials said on May 20.

According to the officials, the man hailed from central Assam’s Nagaon district. They said that the Assam government reported the first black fungus death to the Union health and family welfare ministry on May 19.

The man was a diabetic and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 6 after which he was admitted to a COVID Care Centre (CCC) in Nagaon district.

The patient tested negative for the virus through the Rapid Antigen Test on May 12 and was discharged from the district CCC.

He was later admitted to a private hospital in Guwahati on May 16 in a critical condition after he developed decreased vision in both eyes and other post-COVID complications.

Health officials in Guwahati said that at the moment the department does not have any data on black fungus infection in Assam.

“We are collecting data on black fungus, if any, from all the 34 districts and there is no need to panic. We have enough stock of required medicines to treat the infection if found,” a health official said refusing to be quoted.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on May 20 said that the state government will notify black fungus infection as part of the pandemic. Several states in India have already declared black fungus infection as epidemic.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Assam rose to over 51,818 late on May 20 night against 25,027 active cases on May 1.

Assam has so far reported 3,53,574 COVID-19 cases, while 2,507 persons have succumbed to the viral disease.

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