"The mortality rate from fungal infections was 3,129 people out of a total of 40,845 cases reported. Out of them, 31,344 had nose, paranasal sinuses and parts of the brain affected," Vardhan said at a briefing.
At the same time, 32% of those patients with the fungus infection were between 18 and 45 years old, 42% belonged to the age group between 45 and 60 years old, and 24% to the 60+ category. The health minister noted that 64% of the patients had diabetes, and 53% had been taking steroids.
The majority of the cases were detected in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha, which have all also report a steep increase in COVID-19 infections.
Mucormycosis, or black mold, is a fungal infection that strikes the sinuses, brain and lungs, and is said to have a 50% mortality rate. People with diabetes or a reduced immunity after fighting another disease, including COVID-19, are particularly exposed to mucormycosis.